UPDATE 1:00 p.m. ET: Ian Stewart is no longer a member of the Chicago Cubs. After settling the terms of his suspension -- and upholding it -- the Cubs granted the infielder his unconditional release, the team has announced.
While the terms of the agreement are unknown, it is likely that the Cubs will eat the remaining $1 million on Stewart's salary for 2013.
ORIGINAL: Two weeks after airing his frustrations with the Chicago Cubs online, third baseman Ian Stewart is all set to be an ex-Cub. Stewart and the Cubs are in the process of "working out an arrangement" in which the obviously frustrated infielder would leave the organization for good, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
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The 28-year-old Stewart, who is on a $2 million MLB salary but has spent all of 2013 at Triple-A, lashed out at the Cubs on Twitter two weeks ago, expressing dissatisfaction at his playing time and asking the team to release him. Though Stewart apologized following the incident, Chicago proceeded to suspend the former first-round pick without pay for an indefinite period, and is now working out the particulars of his official release.
The early favorite to be the Cubs' Opening Day third baseman for 2013, Stewart injured his quad in camp and never got the opportunity to play at Wrigley this season. While Stewart was quick blame his lack of playing time on the whims of manager Dale Sveum, one might look at his .168/.286/.372 line in 40 games at Triple-A and come to a very different conclusion.
Stewart is still owed about $1 million in salary through the end of the year, and his early release from the club is unlikely to change that figure.
The Cubs have gotten on just fine this year without Stewart at the hot corner. The dynamic duo of Luis Valbuena and Cody Ransom have taken a majority of the starts at third, and both have exceeded expectations. Valbuena, Ransom, and three others have combined to hit .237/.333/.447 with 12 home runs at third base, good for the ninth-best OPS in baseball at the position.