Troy Renck of the Denver Post tweeted yesterday that the Cubs acquired Ian Stewart and Casey Weathers for Tyler Colvin and D.J. Lemehieu. Colvin and Lemehieu may do well, but Stewart (a non-tender candidate) fills an opening in the Cubs’ roster.
The Cubs have been rumored to be talking to the Rockies about Stewart since the Winter Meetings began, with Lemehieu and Colvin being mentioned in separate offerings.
The player that came out of nowhere is Casey Weathers, a relief pitcher with electric stuff. Weathers, a former first round draft choice, is a type of pitcher that may remind you of Carlos Marmol: he features a live fastball that reaches into the mid-90′s, a plus slider, and absolutely awful command.
Weathers has some ridiculous, video game-esque strike out numbers in his early minor league career:12.51, 10.96, 16.20, and 12.05 K/9 since before last season. His flaw, as I mentioned before, is his control. Only once has he posted a walk rate below four in his career. Weathers suffered a blown elbow in 2008 and missed all of 2009 due to Tommy John surgery. Control is typically the last thing to come back following the surgery, so he could be a work in progress.
Weathers could never see a major league bullpen, but his ceiling is that of a closer. At least two more seasons in Double-A could be the forecast for Weathers, so he could be an interesting arm to pay attention as he moves along.
The Denver Post’s Troy Rench is reporting that the Colorado Rockies have requested a trade for Blake DeWitt in exchange for Rockie third baseman Ian Stewart.
While Stewart is probably going to be non-tendered given the presence of prospect Nolan Arenado, the potential trade would stop Stewart from signing with another team.
The step forward that Darwin Barney took at the plate (combined with the play of utilityman Jeff Baker) has made Blake DeWitt expendable. DeWitt, also a non-tender candidate, was relegated to only 243 plate appearances with Barney becoming the starting second baseman.
Ian Stewart, on the other hand, has demonstrated prodigious power in Triple-A, and was ranked as high as the number five prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America in 2005. Obviously, there is some potential in Stewart.
Entering his age 27 season, he could see a huge spike in production the same way Alex Gordon did last season (age 27 last season). And why not at the cost of Blake DeWitt? Not to disrespect DeWitt, but from a roster management perspective, you are dealing a player from a position of depth to gain a player who plays where you have none.
Here’s an idea. Why not ease Josh Vitters into a major league role by starting him against left-handed pitchers? That would give the left-handed Ian Stewart a break against southpaws, and give Vitters a taste of the majors, all the while putting the duo in favorable match-ups. Stewart doesn’t have a far-spread platoon split, but this would be an effective opportunity to sprinkle Vitters in without handing him the keys to the car.
Update: Renck has since heard that the Rockies are not looking for DeWitt in exchange for Stewart, but more along the lines of Tyler Colvin or a prospect. Either way, the Cubs should make the trade.