It’s kind of depressing that the biggest news in the Cubsophere right now is what the Cubs should do with Ian Stewart. But there it is:
Whether to tender third baseman Ian Stewart a contract for 2013 could be one of the more significant moves of the Cubs’ offseason.
Having already signed free-agent starters Scott Baker and Scott Feldman, the only question marks remaining are at third base and in the outfield.
As Friday’s 11 p.m. deadline looms, the 27-year-old Stewart is the Cubs’ only arbitration-eligible player whose immediate future is in doubt. If they don’t tender him a contract by the deadline, he becomes a free agent. Matt Garza and the three first-time eligible players — Jeff Samardzija, James Russell and Luis Valbuena — all will be offered arbitration. Samardzija may even get an extension.
Two others, Manny Corpas and Chris Volstad, were dumped before the Cubs had to make a call on tendering a contract.
President Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer repeatedly have said they’re monitoring Stewart’s progress from left wrist surgery in July before making a decision. Stewart’s last game was June 12, and he chose to rehab away from the team.
He also chose to get into various Twitter wars with fans to be kind of a general ass. Cut him loose.
The Cubs are apparently a finalist for some Japanese pitcher:
The Chicago Cubs may be moving closer to a signing that will boost their bullpen.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the Cubs and Los Angeles Angels appear to be finalists for Japanese closer Kyuji Fujikawa, with the Arizona Diamondbacks also in the picture.
And then there’s this, which popped up in my Facebook newsfeed and sent me running for . . . well, it just sent me running.