The Chicago Cubs are set to bring back third baseman Ian Stewart on a one-year, $2 million deal with $500,000 in incentives, after non-tendering the veteran infielder at the outset of the offseason.
Stewart, a former first-round pick of the Colorado Rockies in the 2003 MLB amateur draft, came over to the Cubs last December in a trade for for Tyler Colvin and DJ LeMahieu.
The 27-year-old suffered through a rough season with the Cubs, as he played in only 55 games and posted a below-average batting line of .201/.292/.335 over 202 plate appearances. Stewart has seen a stark dropoff in his production since 2010, which is why the Cubs were able to get him back at such a low price after granting him free agency on Nov. 30 and allowing him to test the market.
Third basemen are hard to find at a reasonable price in this market, but if Stewart can recapture his form from the first four years of his MLB career, Chicago will have a bargain player that could be used to acquire additional prospects at the trade deadline.