The weird and not so wonderful saga of Ian Stewart continues. In the off-season the Cubs decided to bring Ian Stewart back under the assumption, well not really an assumption, but the thought that he was 100% over the wrist issues that plagued him for two years. Ian Stewart received a two million dollar contract from the Cubs, guaranteed money, meaning no matter where Stewart ended up he would get paid. Stewart was excited to prove everyone wrong, and give the Cubs a solid healthy season, or so it seemed, then came the spring training injury. The injury lingered, then it lingered some more, just recently Stewart returned to Iowa to begin rehab. After a week or so of mediocrity it was clear that Ian Stewart had fallen behind and his “rehab” assignment was really more of a destination than a stop over. Dale Sveum was pretty blunt, “He’s a AAA player”… I suppose that was the writing on the wall for Stewart, or at least he was being served notice. With Sveum’s comment one could now be confident in saying that Ian Stewart was behind Luis Valbuena, and Cody Ransom at the big league level, and wasn’t going to get back there until he deserved it.
Things got worse for Stewart, this past week Josh Vitters returned from his season long DL stint and extended spring training. Vitters went right into the starting lineup at third base for Iowa, and produced immediately, that led to today where the Cubs announced that they removed Stewart from the 40-man roster, and waived him, but he went unclaimed. Red flags everywhere, no team in the entire league wanted Ian Stewart for essentially free. To me, that points to not just a health issue, but an attitude problem, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s it. I hope you’re still following, Ian Stewart was waived, went unclaimed, then he was removed from the 40-man roster, and outrighted to Iowa (which he accepted, because he gets to keep his $2 million bucks) where he was already located… ahhhhh! Stewart remains on the bench now behind Vitters, and things are just going to get tougher for him as Junior Lake is close to returning, and odds are he will be ahead of Stewart as well. I don’t like to see players pushed out, what I really don’t like seeing is players given a third or fourth opportunity to prove themselves seemingly lack the effort to do so. Again, no one is saying that his attitude is the issue, however it seems like that could be the case given how quickly all of this transpired. So Ian Stewart is still Cubs property, but looks to have a long road ahead of him before he gets out of Iowa, or even back on the field at Iowa.
Thanks for reading,