According to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have signed third baseman Ian Stewart to a minor league deal that includes an invite to big league Spring Training next month.
Stewart, who was traded to the Chicago Cubs after the 2011 season, never saw much action for the team and left on a very sour note after he was very vocal in his criticism of the organization this June.
If you’ll recall his remarks went something like this: The team “might as well release” him rather than let him “rot” in Triple-A.
In 133 plate appearances last season with Triple-A Iowa, Stewart hit just .168/.286/.372 with five home runs and 20 RBIs. He later joined the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate in Albuquerque, where he hit .174/.324/.314, a slight improvement in regards to on-base percentage.
The 28-year-old’s stock has fallen rapidly after a wrist injury derailed a once-promising career for Stewart. In 2009 with Colorado – the team that originally drafted him – he hit just .228, but showed impressive power, adding 25 home runs and driving in 70. He followed that up with a 15-home run season in 2010, appearing in 121 games for the Rockies.
Stewart will likely serve as potential infield depth should he return to form with the Angels. According to MLBTR, Grant Green projects as the team’s top backup infielder, with Andrew Romine, Luis Jimenez and John McDonald also in the mix, meaning there is no clear path for Stewart to see significant time at the big league level.