Zach Stewart Rumors

Braves Acquire Zach Stewart

The Braves have acquired right-hander Zach Stewart from the White Sox in exchange for cash considerations, according to the Chicago Tribune's Paul Sullivan (on Twitter).

Stewart spent 2013, his age-26 season, with Chicago's Triple-A affiliate, posting a 4.25 ERA with 6.6 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in 167 1/3 innings of work. Originally a third-round pick by the Reds in 2008, the Texas Tech product has found himself included in trades for a number of high-profile players over the past six years. The Reds dealt him to Toronto along with Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Roenicke in 2008 to acquire Scott Rolen. He was then part of the three-team deal that sent Edwin Jackson to the Cardinals in 2011, and he was acquired by the White Sox to the Red Sox in June 2012's Kevin Youkilis deal. Chicago picked him back up on waivers last offseason.

Stewart has 103 Major League innings under his belt, but he's posted a 6.82 ERA in that time. He's whiffed just 5.6 hitters per nine innings, but has also averaged just 1.9 walks per nine to go along with a strong 50 percent ground-ball rate in the bigs. Both xFIP and SIERA feel his ERA to date should be just a shade under 4.00 rather than at its current level.

Atlanta's acquisition of Stewart isn't entirely surprising; the team looks to be adding depth with Kris Medlen's health status up in the air (he'll undergo an MRI on his right forearm today) along with the possibility that Mike Minor could miss a start or two in April. Of course, Atlanta has in-house options such as Alex Wood, Freddy Garcia and David Hale that would presumably be in line for big league starts before Stewart, who is most likely ticketed for Triple-A. Stewart was not on Chicago's 40-man roster.


White Sox Outright Zach Stewart To Triple-A

Today’s outright assignments..

  • The White Sox have outrighted Zach Stewart to Triple-A Charlotte, according to Dan Hayes of CSNChicago (on Twitter).  The move removes the right-hander off of the 40-man roster, which now stands at 39.  Chicago claimed Stewart just last week.

Hahn On Viciedo, Pierzynski, Stewart

Earlier today, the White Sox hosted SoxFest 2013, an interactive event where fans got the opportunity to participate in a Q&A session with General Manager Rick Hahn.  Executive Vice President and former GM Kenny Williams couldn't resist joining in and closed things out when he asked Hahn if he'll do a better job than his predecessor.  Hahn responded by saying that the last GM had a better support staff in place (via White Sox on Twitter) and drew laughs from everyone in attendance.  Here's more on the White Sox..

  • Hahn said that the White Sox haven't shopped Dayan Viciedo but added that no one is untouchable, tweets Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.  It was reported last month that the White Sox discussed deals involving Viciedo and Alejandro De Aza.
  • The GM was asked about the departure of A.J. Pierzynski and he explained that the money that would have gone to the catcher was instead re-routed to Jake Peavy, Jeff Keppinger, and Matt Lindstrom, tweets Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.  Hahn also expressed confidence in catcher Tyler Flowers' abilities.
  • A fan asked Hahn about the decision to claim Zach Stewart off of waivers from the Pirates.  The GM explained that Stewart adds depth to the team's pitching, cost the team very little, and has big league experience, Gonzales tweets.  The White Sox's decision to pick up Stewart yesterday marked the second time that they have acquired the right-hander in two years.


White Sox Claim Zach Stewart

The White Sox claimed Zach Stewart off of waivers, MLBTR has learned. The Pirates had designated Stewart for assignment one week ago to create 40-man roster space for Jeff Karstens.

This marks the second time in two years that the White Sox have acquired Stewart. They traded for him and Jason Frasor in July of 2012, sending Edwin Jackson and Mark Teahen to Toronto. Stewart posted an 8.58 ERA with 4.8 K/9 and 1.0 BB/9 in 35 2/3 innings for the White Sox and Red Sox this past season. The Red Sox traded him to Pittsburgh in November, but he never threw a pitch for the Pirates.


Pirates Designate Zach Stewart For Assignment

The Pirates have designated Zach Stewart for assignment, according to MLB.com's official transactions page.  The move was made in order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Jeff Karstens, whom they signed earlier this week.

Stewart was acquired from the Red Sox for a player to be named later in late November.  In 103 career major league innings at the MLB level, Stewart has a 6.82 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9.  He's no stranger to the pages of MLBTR, having been traded four times since being drafted by the Reds in 2008.


Pirates Acquire Zach Stewart

The Pirates acquired right-hander Zach Stewart from the Red Sox for a player to be named later, the teams announced. The Red Sox had designated Stewart for assignment on November 20th.

Stewart, 26, has pitched at the MLB level in both of the past two seasons. This is already the fourth time he has been traded since the Reds selected him in the third round of the 2008 draft. The Blue Jays acquired him in the deal that sent Scott Rolen to Cincinnati; Toronto traded him to the White Sox in the three-team trade that sent Colby Rasmus to the Blue Jays; the Red Sox acquired him in the deal that sent Kevin Youkilis to Chicago. In 103 innings at the MLB level, Stewart has a 6.82 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9.


Red Sox Designate Five Players For Assignment

The Red Sox have designated third baseman Danny Valencia, infielder Ivan De Jesus and right-handed pitchers Sandy Rosario, David Carpenter and Zach Stewart for assginment, according to a team press release.

All five players were acquired by the Red Sox within the last year and De Jesus, Carpenter and Stewart were small pieces of some of Boston's biggest trades of the season.  De Jesus was picked up as part of the blockbuster deal with the Dodgers in August, Carpenter came from the Blue Jays as part of the John Farrell trade package, and Stewart as part of the deal that sent Kevin Youkilis to the White Sox in June.  Valencia, meanwhile, was picked up in a trade with the Twins in August while Rosario was picked up off waivers from the Marlins last month.


Kevin Youkilis Trade Reactions

The Red Sox agreed to send Kevin Youkilis and cash to the White Sox for Zach Stewart and Brent Lillibridge in a deal that was announced earlier today. The trade provides the White Sox with much needed stability at the hot corner and gives the Red Sox the opportunity to play Will Middlebrooks on a daily basis. Here are some reactions to the deal:

  • The emergence of Middlebrooks as a legitimate Rookie of the Year candidate made a struggling Youkilis expendable in the eyes of the Red Sox front office, writes Brian MacPherson of The Providence Journal.
  • Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington told reporters, including MacPherson, that it was pretty clear Middlebrooks needed to be in the lineup every day (via Twitter).
  • The White Sox are getting a player in Youkilis who was an All-Star third baseman last season in exchange for cash and two replaceable players, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com. 
  • The legacy of Youkilis was built upon his ability to will himself into a player who far exceeded his natural talents, says Scott Miller of CBSSports.com.
  • The Indians, Dodgers and White Sox were the finalists for Youkilis as of Saturday evening, reports Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. The White Sox separated themselves Sunday morning with the inclusion of Stewart in the trade.
  • By acquiring Youkilis, the White Sox are making the statement that the Tigers are vulnerable and not a guarantee to win the division, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
  • White Sox manager Robin Ventura expects Youkilis to be a strong fit with Chicago given how the veteran plays hard and has a reputation as a good teammate (video link).
  • A change of scenery for Youkilis may prove to benefit the former All-Star considering his strained relationship with manager Bobby Valentine and the series of injuries that kept him off the field, writes Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald.

White Sox Acquire Kevin Youkilis

The White Sox have acquired Kevin Youkilis and cash from the Red Sox in exchange for pitcher Zach Stewart and utility player Brent Lillibridge, both teams announced. Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com tweets the cash being exchanged is slightly more than $5.5MM.

Youkilis is hitting .225/.311/.359 in 41 games this season while appearing in 32 games at third base and 13 at first base. He will be an immediate updgrade at third base for the White Sox, who entered the day with a .466 OPS from the position, worst in baseball. Orlando Hudson has been manning third for the White Sox since Brent Morel landed on the disabled list. Hudson has produced a line of just .167/.247/.286 in his 27 games on the South Side.

Youkilis made his final appearance as a member of the Red Sox today going 2-for-4 with one run batted in. Youkilis was removed in the bottom of the 7th inning to a standing ovation from the Fenway Park faithful. This will not be his last game at Fenway, however, as the White Sox will play a series there on July 16-19.

Stewart, a right-hander, has appeared in 18 games, including one start, for the White Sox this year. Stewart has a 6.00 ERA, 4.8 K/9, and 1.2 BB/9 this season. The 25-year-old was acquired last year by the White Sox in the Edwin Jackson trade with the Blue Jays. Stewart will report to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Lillibridge has appeared in left field, center field, first base, third base, and designated hitter for the White Sox this year with a batting line of .175/.232/.190 in 48 games. Lillibridge is a .215/.283/.358 hitter during his five-year career with the White Sox and Braves. To make room on the 40-man roster for Lillibridge, the Red Sox designated left fielder Oscar Tejada for assignment.

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com and ESPN's Jim Bowden first tweeted news of the trade. David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com was the first to report Stewart was going to Boston while Heyman broke Lillibridge's inclusion.


Trade Reaction: Rasmus, Jackson, White Sox

On the off-chance you missed it, the Blue Jays, Cardinals and White Sox announced a pair of major trades today. The Blue Jays acquired center fielder Colby Rasmus and pitchers Trever Miller, Brian Tallet, and P.J. Walters from the Cardinals for starter Edwin Jackson, relievers Marc Rzepczynski and Octavio Dotel, outfielder Corey Patterson, and three players to be named later or cash considerations. Before completing the deal with St. Louis, the Blue Jays acquired Jackson and third baseman Mark Teahen from the White Sox for reliever Jason Frasor and prospect Zach Stewart. Here’s reaction to the trades from around MLB. Be warned, Cardinals fans, you might not like what follows… 

  • The price the Cardinals paid to acquire Jackson and bullpen help was "just too high," according to ESPN.com's Keith Law, who suggests St. Louis' internal emphasis is on manager Tony La Russa, not the players. Law loves what Toronto did and doesn't understand Chicago's move.
  • Jim Bowden of ESPN says the Cardinals had better win this year "or they will really regret this one." He calls St. Louis' move the "worst trade of the year" and gives the Blue Jays an 'A.'
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post confirms that the Cardinals turned down the Rays' offer of Jeff Niemann and J.P. Howell for Rasmus (Twitter link). Sherman suggests the Cardinals would have been better off accepting Tampa Bay's offer. 
  • The Giants showed how to go for it today and the Cardinals showed how not to go for it, Yahoo's Jeff Passan writes.
  • A longtime scout tells ESPN.com’s Buster Olney that Rasmus has a chance to be a star. “I don't understand that deal at all," the scout said (Twitter link). 
  • Matthew Leach of MLB.com likes what the Cardinals got for 2011, but finds it hard to like the deal for St. Louis because of what it means for 2012-14 (Twitter link).
  • Now that Rasmus and Carlos Beltran are off of the market, the list of teams with possible interest in B.J. Upton is taking shape, as Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times explains. The Braves, Indians, Nationals, Phillies, Pirates and Reds are possible destinations for Upton.
  • As Matt Eddy of Baseball America explains, Walters should qualify for a fourth option year in 2012 and Rzepczynski "might be the prototype" pupil for Cards pitching coach Dave Duncan.
  • Joe Pawlikowski of FanGraphs explains that it's easiest to see the trade from the Blue Jays' perspective, since they gave up three relievers and a prospect for a player who can help them contend for 2012-14.
  • At CloserNews, Dan Mennella wonders if Kyle McClellan could be in line for some saves, now that he's back in the bullpen.
  • Tim Dierkes wrote earlier today that “it's hard to see this as anything but a win for the Blue Jays.”
  • I agree with Tim and many of the others above- it’s a win for the Blue Jays. Let’s not forget how much has to be in place for this kind of deal to happen: a creative GM who reads the market well, payroll flexibility (for Teahen’s contract), willingness from ownership to take on salary, enough appealing prospects to be able to part with Stewart and enough bullpen depth to send three quality relievers packing on the same day. This trade doesn’t seem simple and in some ways it may actually be more complicated that it appears.