Cubs reportedly offer managerial job to Sveum

Earlier in the day we learned that Maddux was out of the running because of family matters and that was confirmed this evening.

Then word began to leak, starting with this post on ChiTown Nation, that it was Dale Sveum, hitting coach for the Milwaukee Brewers and former 3rd base coach of the Red Sox, that was the Cubs choice.

There was a series of increasingly speculative tweets until Ken Rosenthal tweeted,

@Ken_Rosenthal: Source: Sveum offered job by #Cubs, not #RedSox.

Sveum is supposed to make a decision within the next 24-48 hours but everyone seems to believe he will accept.  This includes the Red Sox, who are now expanding their search.

Sveum was a candidate we talked about early in the process but then he got lost in all the attention given to Maddux.  In the end, it seems that it was Sveum's knowledge of statistics and the percentages Epstein and Hoyer like to play that won him the job.

Here is what we said about Sveum back in October:

Dale Sveum, Hitting Coach, Milwaukee Brewers

Svuem was the third base coach when Boston ended their 86 year drought in 2004, so he has some familiarity with Epstein and the Red Sox style of managing.  He has managerial experience in the Pirates organization and was named the top managerial candidate in 2003 by Baseball America.  Sveum has an additional advantage in that he was the hitting coach for the NL Central winning Milwaukee Brewers.  That gives him familiarity within the league and the division.

We'll update this, of course, when it becomes official, but for now Sveum looks like they guy.

My favorite tweet of the day was this from CSN's Patrick Mooney,

"Asked if they'd have to recruit Sveum with #RedSox lurking, Hoyer says: "The #Cubs sell themselves."

When it comes to respect, it appears the Cubs are gaining it rapidly.  Now let's get some players on this team.




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  • I like it. I like his knowledge of the division. I think it's a great hire, and the fact Boston wanted him makes it only sweeter.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    His knowledge of the division, Theo's preferred managing style...seems like a great fit to me.

  • Now to trade him to the Red Sox as compensation for Theo.

    This is an excellent choice. Very happy. I know Rick Peterson, my choice for pitching coach, worked with the Brewers, but I don't know if they crossed. I hope he gets the job. But this would be great if and when it becomes official.

  • In reply to felzz:

    Agreed. It was a good hire. Epstein and Hoyer picked the guy in the end who they thought was best for the job. That's the way it should be. I haven't heard anything on any coaches yet though.

  • This is a excellent chocie. he's one of the two guys they really wanted and thye seem to have gotten him. Like you said John, the Cubs are getting more respect now in baseball and this is proof

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    The last sentence echoes my thoughts. "get some players".

  • Mine too. We've got a manager, now we need some ballplayers. Any updates on the CBA negotiations?

  • In reply to Eddie:

    Just the same stuff. No comp for Bs, they're going to remove some As off the list, such as Kelly Johnson -- a player I hope they look at now. Some sort of draft cap involved with penalties of fines for going over once and loss of draft picks for multiple "offenses".

  • Yes! In the end, that's what it's all about, right? No manager can win without good players.

  • I hope he gets an offer from Boston and accepts.

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    In reply to lokeey:

    I'm curious lokeey, then what? Maddux is out of the loop, who do you think is a better choice?

  • In reply to John from Denmark:

    Alomar. I know he doesn't have the "statistical" side that Theo and Hoyer are looking for, but I get this feeling that Sveum won't be as good as Maddux or Alomar or even Harlan.

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    In reply to lokeey:

    I would not disagree with you If it was a traditional managerial position. I think its more like moneyball the book, in which the manager is in concert with the saber philosophy. I have not seen the movie, things travel slow to reach Denmark.
    If Sveum follows the percentages in all areas they will have no problem with Sveum, and he was in Boston, so he knows how it works with Theo. This is how important sabermetrics is to these guys, they feel that they have the holy grail and who am I to say they don\t ...2 WS champions in 5 years. I appreciate your picks tho.

  • In reply to John from Denmark:

    I think that's exactly it. We suspected sabermetrics were an important factor in the decision. Now we just found out just how much. No question that was Sveum's biggest advantage over every candidate.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Well, that and familiarity with Theo and Hoyer. At the end of the day, Theo really seems to have a comfort zone with his inner circle and people who he has known before. Not a problem IMO, but I think that played a big role in Sveum getting the job.

  • In reply to JB88:

    Absolutely agree. It always plays a big role. Familiarity is important in baseball like it would be in any job. When you look at everyone Theo has hired, from Jed Hoyer to Jason McLeod to Shiraz Rehman, everyone has had a past with him.

    It wouldn't surprise me if the Cubs pick up a player or two with past connections to the Red Sox either.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'd be perfectly fine if the Cubs wanted to acquire Hanley Ramirez :-D

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    John, assuming this deal doesn't fall through, what are your thoughts on the coaching staff, and what direction that might go? I wonder if Hale might be a good fit.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I don't have any names yet but I think they'd like a strong pitching coach if they can get one. Maddux was a major candidate because Hoyer thought someone like him could maximize what Cubs have in terms of arms and keeping them healthy.

  • JB88...that wouldn't bother me a bit, either ;) Although one of the guys that was traded along with him, Anibal Sanchez, would be a nice fit too and possibly available.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I would have huge issues with Hanley Ramirez. He is poison in a clubhouse. As talented as he is, he is not about the Cubs' Way. The last thing this team needs is another prim a-donna like Sosa, and after Theoyer's experience with Manny Ramirez, I don't think they would go there.

  • “If the Cubs hire someone from that pool, then that was the right person for them,” Cherington said last night. “Like I said all along, the right person is not necessarily the same person for both teams. If we expand the pool, which we may, I don’t think it has anything to do with the Cubs. I think it has more to do with the Red Sox.”

    Sounds like code for, "That a-hole said no to us and Epstein continues to make us look like complete fools."

    Quick everyone, vote for Sveum on the right. Make it look like we knew all along! Just kidding. I love the hire. I would have honestly been happy with any of them though.

  • In reply to Break The Curse:

    For me it comes down to trust. I have no clue how any of them presented in an interview, and without any prior big league managing experience, from a fan perspective it was always going to be a crap shoot.

    But Theo certainly deserves the benefit of the doubt at this point and so I would be behind whoever he hires. If it is a colossal failure, then I'll start to reserve judgment on those moves or become more cynical, but at this point in time, my faith is with this front office because I believe in the processes that they employ.

  • i think sveum is a good hire. part of me wanted alomar and maddux for what they do best, but the thing is that theo and hoyer are making over this franchise. we need to have everyone in the organization on the same page and selectiing a guy like alomar who doesnt value statistics the way epstein, hoyer and sveum do could create problems internally. plus jed and theo are gonna go after players who fit their philosophy and if they get those types of players but the manager doesnt use them in the way their supposed to be used then we might as well have kept hendry the whole time. good hire, lets sign the paperwork and get this offseason rolling!

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    I completely agree jshmoran, couldn't have said it better. The one thing about the leak that surprises me is that there have been virtually no leaks at all throughout the process, except out of Boston's camp. That would make sense that they would have leaked it if Sveum turned down their offer.

  • A 2 year contract will work. It will give their 2nd base prospects
    more time to develop.

  • Maddux was my guy but I respect his decision to stay in Texas. Sveum seems like a solid hire. You have to give him credit for what he did with the Brewers in 2008. That team was in disarray after Yost was fired with 12 games left in the season and the wild card slipping away. Sveum righted the ship and led them to the playoffs. I also liked Alomar based on his knowledge of pitching and the connections he could have made with the Latin players as that's a big focus for the Cubs right now. But I think Theo had visions of Alomar calling for the bunt and intentionally walking guys too often (hello Ron Washington!).

  • In reply to Zorb:

    With Alomar, it's easy to imagine he had some old school answers during the game simulation exercise. That probably hurt him. He otherwise would have been a great candidate for us.

    As a bonus, Sveum also a pretty good hitting coach to give alternative to Jaramillo's more aggressive approach at the plate.

  • I am not thrilled, partly because my Brewer fan colleague right down the hall is ecstatic. Sveum just doesn't excite me. The very little that I saw and heard about the interview with the Chicago media seemed too much like what the Brewer fan says. He just doesn't seem very bright or quick - and managers can't have the right stats for absolutely everything.

    But I know enough to know what I don't know - and I hope I am wrong if he is the next manager.

  • In reply to bruno14:

    Sveum isn't as popular with fans as he is with baseball people for some reason. He did salvage their season in 2008 too, so not sure why he gets no love in Milwaukee.

    I think we're looking at stats more as it applies to maximizing lineups and avoiding outs. So Epstein may be looking at a guy who will take lineup suggestions based on run scoring probability. By the same token, he probably wants a guy who's not going to over think things with things like too much bunting, etc.

    He'll be fine. This is a guy that was courted by two of the top organizations in baseball. Both of whom grilled him on game situations and he came out the favorite for both jobs. That has to say something.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Matt (my colleague) says that they used to interview Sveum a lot before games or a series and he always said the same thing, described every team and pitcher about the same. He did not appear to have anything to say. That, in itself, is not a big issue for me, but I worry that it shows someone that does not think on his feet very well. And maybe that is why Theo, et al, like him. As you say, he won't over think, won't play a hunch against the probabilities because you have to be trying to think about it in different ways to have that hunch.

    He also says that the players seem to love him. that can be good or it can be bad (Dusty).

    I have an instinctive mistrust of the sort of robotic reaction of pure stat geeks. But... I seriously want to be proven wrong by people who know more than I do. And I still find the whole process this offseason quite exciting.

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    Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer just arrived at Dale Sveum's hotel. ~ Gordon Eades via Twitter

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