As the winter meetings come to a close, the Chicago Cubs and Colorado Rockies have swung a deal that was rumored for the last couple of days, but finally consummated. The Rockies will send Ian Stewart and Casey Weathers to the Cubs, who will give up Tyler Colvin and DJ LaMehieu.
Stewart was one of the more coveted trade chips on the market, due to his ability to take a walk. The third baseman will likely get the starting nod at the hot corner for the Cubbies with Aramis Ramirez leaving town via the free agent market. Stewart struggled in 48 games last year, with just a .156/.243/.221 line, and zero home runs. He did however, walk in 10.3% of his plate appearances, consistent with his career totals. He’s never gotten over 500 plate appearances in a season, and his best year was in 2009, when he hit .228/.322/.464 in 491 plate appearances, with 25 homers. There isn’t a significant home/road split with Stewart, as his Coors Field OPS is just 30 points higher than his mark on the road. His ISO is actually higher on the road as well, which is a good sign. Weathers is a 26 year old reliever who hasn’t made it past AA. Last season, he struck out 48 and walked 48 in in 45 2/3 for AA Tulsa.
Colvin was a guy who burst onto the scene for the Cubs in 2010 with a .254/.316/.500 line and 20 homers in his rookie year. He fell back to Earth with a resounding thud last season, with just a .150/.204/.306 line in 222 plate appearances. His ISO fell from .246 to .155, but here’s a silver lining for Rockies fans: his BABIP was a normal looking .296 in 2010, and a horrendous .175 this past season. He can’t be that bad again, right? He’ll likely be a bench player for the Rockies, with the glut of young outfielders they have in the upper levels of their organization. LeMehieu is a high average, low walk, low strikeout kind of guy who moved quickly through Chicago’s system, making his major league debut in 2011 after making his professional debut in 2009. The 23 year old looks like he could be a defensive sub off the bench for the Rockies.
At the end of the day, you’ve gotta like this deal for the Cubs. They fill a significant hole on their team without giving up anything of consequence. Meanwhile for the Rockies, they turn a decent looking trade piece into a couple of bench players. On the heels of the acquisition of Kevin Slowey and the trade of Huston Street, it’s clear that Dan O’Dowd is looking to change some things in Denver, though I’m unsure ono whether or not he’s making changes for the better as of right now.