Dale Sveum seemed to know he was a goner as soon as team president Theo Epstein declined to comment on whether he’d be back for the final season of his contract in 2014 and now Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Cubs have fired Sveum.
Sveum lasted two years with the Cubs, going 61-101 last season and 66-96 this season. Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer repeatedly stressed that the team’s record would not play a large factor in Sveum’s status, but in addition to all the losing there were also questions about how he dealt with young players and specifically shortstop Starlin Castro.
Ron Gardenhire is off the managerial market, re-signing with the Twins, but there’s been some speculation that the Cubs could make a run at Joe Girardi if he decides not to remain with the Yankees.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.