Cubs get Stewart in swap with Rockies
The Chicago Cubs acquired third baseman Ian Stewart and right-handed reliever Casey Weathers from the Colorado Rockies on Thursday night for outfielder Tyler Colvin and infielder D.J. LeMahieu.
Stewart, who hit 25 homers in 2009 and 18 more in 2010 for the Rockies, slumped last season when he split time Colorado and Triple-A. In 48 games with the Rockies he batted .156 without a homer in 122 at-bats and was bothered by a sprained left wrist late last season.
''I think he was just searching,'' Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said on a conference call. ''I'm not sure what got him off to a slow start originally. It looked like he was changing his stance a lot, raising and lowering his hands, opening and closing his stance. He looked like a guy that was struggling and was searching. I think Tyler Colvin is probably in a similar boat.''
Hoyer said the wrist was checked out by Cubs doctors on Tuesday and that the injury is ''cleared up and he's ready to go.''
Stewart replaces slugger Aramis Ramirez at third, and although he's not as accomplished at the plate, the Cubs believe they upgraded defensively.
''We felt like there was a ton of potential in there,'' Hoyer said. ''He provides us a left-handed bat at third base, he's the right age. He's affordable, he's controllable, and we expect big things out of Ian.''
Weathers was 2-2 with a 5.32 ERA at Double-A Tulsa last season in 44 appearances. He missed the 2009 season after elbow ligament replacement surgery.
Colvin hit 20 homers as a rookie in 2010 but struggled last season and was sent to Triple-A. LeMahieu made his major league debut with the Cubs last year and batted .250 in 37 games.