Cubs Front Office Looking to Replace Dale Sveum?

What began as a no comment on Dale Sveum’s status for the 2014 season could be a lot more than first thought. When Theo Epstein was asked on Tuesday about Dale Sveum returning for the third season of the three year contract that he signed in November of 2011, Epstein declined to comment and said that the front office is evaluating all aspects of the organization. Epstein explained, at the time, that Sveum would not be judged on wins and losses and added that Sveum has done a remarkable job of keeping the clubhouse together over the last two years. While Epstein would not say that Sveum would be back, he did say that there are “no alarm bells to ring.”

But that might not actually be the case according to reports from Comcast SportsNet, the Sun-Times and the Tribune.

Patrick Mooney reported Thursday night “there are real questions inside the organization about whether or not Dale Sveum should return to manage the Cubs in 2014.” According to Mooney’s sources, there has been building concerns about player development, namely the season-long struggles of Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo and Darwin Barney as well as the second half that Jeff Samardzija has put together.

According to a report from the Tribune’s Phil Rogers, the Cubs will pursue Joe Girardi if they have a chance. Rogers also cited player development questions as the reason the front office is looking to make a change. And if the Cubs don’t have a chance with Girardi, according to Rogers’ report, the Cubs could look at Tony Pena. Rogers pointed to the Cubs “exploring ways to get better production from Starlin Castro and provide an ideal environment for Latin American prospects such as Javier Baez, Jorge Soler and Albert Almora” as to a few of the reasons the Cubs could look at Tony Pena.

Rogers also reported that if Sveum remains in place to look for Mariano Duncan or “others with Latin roots to be added to the coaching staff in some capacity.” And Rogers did not rule out the Cubs looking to hire Yankees hitting coach, Kevin Long.

All three reports point to the fact the Cubs’ front office does not appear to be happy with the player development that is happening at the Major League level.

Dale Sveum addressed his future with the team prior to Wednesday’s game in Milwaukee. Sveum said he would like to think he will be returning as manager of the Cubs but he realizes how the whole process works. Sveum admitted that “some things haven’t gone too well and some things have gone really well” and he is happy with his coaching staff.

Theo Epstein said the entire organization was being evaluated, and that appears to be the case.

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