The Chicago Cubs have fired manager Dale Sveum after only two seasons of work after the club finished last in the NL Central for the first time in seven years. In Sveum’s two-year tenure as manager, the Cubs have lost more games (197) than any other two-year stretch in the team’s history.
Cubs general manager Theo Epstein was quick to quell any notion that Sveum was being used as a “scapegoat” for the team’s last two terrible seasons. Instead, Epstein stated that the record was “a function of our long-term building plan and the moves we have made – some good, a few we would like back – to further this strategy.“
The Cubs have been making moves over the past two seasons to free up cap space and build up their minor-league system. They have dealt veterans Matt Garza and Alfonso Soriano, given long-term contracts to young stars like Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro, and reloaded their farm system with top draft prospects like Kris Bryant. Long-term prospects look good for the Cubs, but struggles seem like they will continue in the near future.
Possible replacements will begin to emerge over the next few days and weeks, but one name of interest that has been mentioned is Yankees manager Joe Girardi. A Peoria, Illinois native who played his college ball at Northwestern, the thought of returning home might peak Girardi’s interest. Whoever the replacement may be, Epstein promises that the search process will be thorough and expects it to be completed by early November.