Cubs manager Joe Maddon announced today that outfielder Shane Victorino will not be on the Opening Day roster, as ESPNChicago.com’s Jesse Rogers was among those to report on Twitter. As an Article XX(B) free agent, he’d have posed a $100K retention bonus question to the club in just a few days’ time.
It appears that Chicago has offered Victorino an alternative arrangement, as MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat tweets. He is still considering the new deal, pursuant to which he’d rehab his ailing calf before reporting to Triple-A in hopes of earning a major league opportunity.
It’s not entirely clear whether a new contract is being contemplated or whether the veteran would be given his retention bonus (and an automatic June 1st opt-out date). Implicitly, it seems, he could instead elect to look for another organization on the open market.
Victorino, 35, signed on with the Cubs on a minor league deal in late February. He’s managed only ten plate appearances this spring, and already seemed to face an uphill battle to crack a roster full of outfield options. Long a sturdy regular, Victorino posted a meager .230/.308/.292 batting line in just 204 plate appearances last season — by far his worst output since he established himself in the majors back in 2006.