12/4 Third base options
The Cubs have talked to Ian Stewart as well as his agent Larry Reynolds to make sure the third baseman knows that they’d like to have him return to the team. Stewart was non-tendered last Friday, and now is a free agent. He missed most of last season after needing surgery on his left wrist. Because the market for third basemen is so weak, Stewart is now a hot item. The Yankees are in the mix following the news that Alex Rodriguez will need hip surgery. Think players aren’t aware of the market? Free agent Casey McGehee was in the lobby of the Gaylord Opryland Hotel on Tuesday to talk to teams.
“[The Yankees] have a need,” Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said Tuesday. “The question is how long they have a need for.”
Because Rodriguez was expected back at some point in the season, the Yankees may not want to commit long-term to a player. That will determine how aggressive they are. The Yankees reportedly have interest in free agent Jeff Keppinger, and CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman says the infielder is looking for around $12 million over three years. Keppinger is recovering from a significant injury of his own, a broken fibula.
Stewart is aware of the Cubs’ interest in him.
“We’ve been really clear with him,” Hoyer said. “He knows how we feel about him. He knows we want to bring him back.”
— Carrie Muskat