During his Thursday pre-game meeting with the beat writers, Joe Maddon revealed that veteran outfielder Shane Victorino will not be on the Cubs’ Opening Day roster. Victorino is too hurt to play and prepare properly for the upcoming season.
The Cubs signed Shane Victorino to a minor league contract on Feb. 26. Victorino’s deal included a non-roster invite to Spring Training and called for a base salary of $1 million with an additional $1 million through performance bonuses if he made the team out of camp.
Victorino has not played in a spring game since March 8 due to a right calf injury. Victorino is 2-for-10 with a walk and a strikeout in four Cactus League games.
The contract Victorino signed in late February included an opt-out in the event he did not make the team. It was believed at the time that Victorino would not accept an assignment to Triple-A Iowa.
Shane Victorino met with Theo Epstein and Joe Maddon on Thursday.
The Cubs would like Victorino to stay at the team’s facility in Mesa and continue his rehab. Once he is healthy enough to play, he would report to Triple-A Iowa for about a month, basically the same amount of time as a rehab assignment.
The Cubs would actually release Victorino from his current contract which includes a $100,000 retention bonus according to Ken Rosenthal. The Cubs would re-sign him to a new minor league contract.
Rosenthal spoke with Victorino’s agent, John Boggs. He said they are “in the beginning stages of trying to recreate a scenario to focus on getting Shane healthy.”
Under the Cubs plan, Victorino would have a full Spring Training with the Iowa Cubs. If he shows he is healthy at that point the Cubs would create a spot on the 40-man roster for him and add him to the active roster.
Rosenthal also spoke with Victorino. While the veteran outfielder wants to play again, he also doesn’t want to be a distraction to the Cubs.
“I just still want to play the game I love,” Victorino said to Ken Rosenthal. “We all want to do that forever, but this time I really felt like I had made a turn for the better this offseason, going back to switch-hitting. I want to be nothing but a plus and not be a hassle or take any attention from the big club. Before I prove it to anyone else, I need to prove to myself that I am the player everyone thinks I am. I am my hardest critic, so if I feel like I am done, no one would need to make that decision for me.”
“I respect tremendously what they have created here and the talent they have in that locker room. All I want is for my experience to help in any way. But there is nothing to discuss if I am not healthy.”
Shane Victorino is reportedly mulling his options and has not made a decision on if he will accept the Cubs offer.