Obsessive New Manager Watch: Reports Say It’s Dale Sveum

According to multiple reports, the Chicago Cubs have offered their managerial position to Milwaukee Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum. And, according to at least one source, Sveum is expected to accept the job, with an announcement by Friday.

The Cubs have not confirmed the reports quite yet, but, as of late Thursday night, all signs pointed to Sveum. With the Boston Red Sox set to interview Sveum for a second time, the Cubs met with Sveum in Milwaukee on Tuesday night. And, while Cubs’ GM Jed Hoyer tried to play the meeting down as being just a happy coincidence that all parties were in Milwaukee, the timing suggested the Cubs were narrowing their field in response to overtures from the Red Sox.

When the Red Sox announced last night – after meeting with Sveum – that they might need to expand their search, the stars aligned for everyone to conclude that Sveum would be coming to the Cubs.

Sveum has always been in the upper echelon of candidates for the Cubs’ job, together with Texas Rangers’ pitching coach Mike Maddux, who, according to various reports, pulled his name from consideration for the Cubs’ job yesterday, citing family concerns. Maddux’s decision could be the tail or the dog: his withdrawal could have spurred the Cubs to move quickly on Sveum, or he could have withdrawn in response to the Cubs letting him know that Sveum was their first choice. We may never know exactly how things played out.

While everything now looks set for a Sveum/Cubs marriage and an announcement in short order, it bears reminding: sometimes these things play out over the course of several days. Contracts are to be negotiated. People have to make related decisions. And things can fall through. So, I’ll be reserving my full thoughts on the search and the decision until things are quite a bit more official.

For now, it looks like the Cubs want Sveum, and it looks like Sveum wants the Cubs. That’s as far as we can go right now for sure.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

54 responses to “Obsessive New Manager Watch: Reports Say It’s Dale Sveum”

  1. T C

    Nothing really defines “obsessive” like posting about MLB managers at 2 AM on a Wednesday, does it?

    also, I’m not a huge fan of this yet. I haven’t been overly impressed by what I’ve heard about him, but I have total faith in Theo/Jed

  2. BPaoni

    Burnin the midnight oil eh? That’s what I call dedication Brett!

  3. T C

    We appreciate your total lack of concern for your own health hah. But seriously, the work you put in here is fantastic

  4. John

    Would this give us the edge to get Fielder? I heard that the Dodgers are not going to pursue him because of the sale. 5 year deal would be ok with a team option for 6th.

    1. DRock

      Yes, now please bring in Fielder. Maybe we can even bring back Casey McGehee too to fill the hole at 3rd. He did have an atrocious year last year but a good 09-10. I think he would rake at Wrigley just like Fielder.

  5. BetterNews

    Brett—Go to sleep, can’t have my dad working these hours!(LOL)

  6. Todd

    Not my first choice, but then again, I didn’t interview any of the candidates. I’m impressed with the hiring process, and excited for Sveum. Forgive me for the uninformed question but is his name pronounced swim? I’m not in the States, so I haven’t heard anyone pronounce it.

  7. Cubsklm

    Can someone post a picture of Sveum and Francona together? Do they not look the “sveum”?

    This is the same profile the RedSox used when they hired Tito. I think they are clones of each other.

    1. Ian Afterbirth

      That pun was awful

      Shwame on you!

  8. Siquo

    Well, he has eyebrows at least, I’d call that an improvement.

  9. EtotheR

    Don’t encourage Brett to sleep. He’s at his best when on a sleep-deprived, alcohol-driven, narcotic-laden information bender. During one of these, I once saw him dig up the corpse of Sam Giancana, and pry loose the name of JFK’s killer…with only a banana as a weapon…and nourishment.

    Really impressive.

    And, when you’re team is interviewing all the guys considered to be the best candidates in baseball, it’s very likely that a case could be made for any. If Sveum is the guy…we’ll be in good shape. Same for Maddux.

  10. Fishin Phil

    Just let me know when it is OK to squeal.

  11. MichiganGoat

    Just read on Sports Center that he may is going to allow Boston to make an offer before he makes a decision (although I think that comes out of Boston) if he was Boston’s top choice and takes the Cubs job I will be all grins.

    1. Aaron

      What makes me nervous in this scenario is how he talked about Boston in his post-interview interview with their press. He called the Boston the “ultimate” place and obviously has some roots there. I think we’ll see by the end of the week for sure though, so hang tight everyone!

    2. JulioZuleta

      Same, first Maddux chose the Cubs over the Sox. If Sveum does too, and then Bud does in the compensation issue, life will be good

  12. johnbres2

    Thanks Brett, and your exercise of reserve until the announcement is made is admirable (and no doubt, correct). Like a previous poster said, not completely sold on Sveum but totally trust Theo/Jed. In hindsight, Maddux raising family concerns was a warning sign from the start. Why would someone even raise such a thing in public when talking about getting a job managing the Chicago Cubs? In other words, by raising family concerns, rearding such a demanding job, you are really saying NO before the process even begins. Alomar? I never heard any Cub source even mention him after the interview, which would indicate he was never in the top 2. And as for Francona, I would think the fact that Jed never met with him is all we needed to know. I can’t help but feel hiring Tito would have been a huge mistake. The negative demons of my Cubs’ past can surface regarding Sveum if I let them. He seems more like a Q-ball than a Tony LaRussa. But that might just be that ingrained cup-half-empty Cub neurosis coming out. Maddux seemed like the guy who represented “change.” But again, in Theo we will place our baseball trust. I don’t know Sveum or Maddux. I only have my little ghosts-of-Cubs-past to guide me, and they rarely have anything good to say. I am 100% behind this decision, if in fact it occurs….

  13. LouCub

    I don’t think that something like this should take too long, especially since he formally interviewed last week and has been offered the position…If he’s even considering Boston, he should remember what that classless organization has done to good people there..It would be a no brainer for me, but i’m biased!!! It sucks about Maddux though, he’d have been great…Really great!!

  14. Kerry Wood Likely to Return to the Cubs and Other Bullets | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

    [...] (easier to do once a baby has trained you) and check in to see if anything had broken. By 2am, the Dale Sveum stuff had come sufficiently together to merit a post. I mean, I couldn’t fairly call it an [...]

  15. die hard

    Sveum has only one thing over Quade which is major league playing experience. This may be what it takes to make him more respected by vets. Problem I am having with this selection process is if he declines then Cubs are back to square one. Putting all eggs in one basket is pretty risky way of making a decision of this magnitude. Still cant understand why they didnt interview Listach.

  16. Shane

    Does anyone else feel that there is a rivalry starting between us and the redsox? With us getting theo and this whole managerial search I think it will be interesting to see especially because of possibility of realignment

    1. R.I.P. Santo

      It does seem like a Rivalry is starting and I hate it Because I like the RedSox alot they are my American League team. I have loved them since the Al Nipper and Calvin Schiraldi for Bill Buckner trade I worshipped Billy Buck back then. That being said SCREW EM Go Cubs .

  17. Toosh

    Sveum is not the manager yet, so let’s not forget that he was the Cub’s 3rd choice and the Cubs are his 2nd choice. If Sveum’s hired, Epstein would not be being honest if he said Sveum was the Cub’s top candidate all along.

    1. Rancelot

      “he was the Cub’s 3rd choice”

      I know the last few weeks have been a whirlwind and it is easy to forget all the details, but other than Maddux, who else do you have slotted above Sveum that the Cubs wanted as manager?

      1. Toosh

        The job was Francona’s for the taking. He chose not to manage in 2012. Don’t be surprised to see his name in connection with the Cubs’ job in the future.

        1. hansman1982

          Where do you get that from?  Don’t you think it was kind of odd that 2 days after he said he wants the Cubs job really badly (like Susie Muskin in 8th grade kinda bad) he comes out and says that he is withdrawing his name from the race?

          Sounds to me like Theo called him and told him he is #5 on the list and to STFU.

  18. DRock

    Been hearing rumors that there are 3 teams in on Pujols: Miami, St. Louis, and a mystery 3rd team. Speculation is that the 3rd team is either the Cubs or Rangers. Brett, do you think Theo is going after Pujols? I tend to think he would push more for Fielder since he is younger and coming into his prime whereas Pujols as leaving his prime.

    1. Aaron

      Remember when STL announced that they were interviewing Ryno – even though everyone knew it was definitely not going to be Ryno for them? Teams mess with each other all the time. Hell, even AGENTS mess with teams sometimes. It would be to Pujols’ benefit to leak, somehow, that the Cubs are possible suitors.

      1. JulioZuleta

        We should at least raise the prices on them. Offer a mil or 2 a year more than they do. No way that they won’t match it and end up spending more than they want to.

        I personally am beginning to enter the, “we should go after Prince phase”. As much as I’d like to see what LaHair can do, very few teams get by without a stud 1B. If we can do 5 to 6 years I’d do it. 8? not so much.

        1. Aaron

          I think a team needs to be careful anymore offering contracts to players that expire when they’re 32/33, with Pujols being a prime example. Now he’s out demanding a 9-year deal that will pay him the moon, and some team will end up paying it to him because he’s good. He’s got HOF numbers after just 11 seasons, a couple rings, and is the kind of clubhouse leader that teams drool for. St. Louis is really on the hook here, because they don’t want to hear the outcry when they let him go. Signing him to a more modest 5 year deal would be more appropriate, in my opinion.

  19. chris margetis

    ESPN is reporting that Sveum is waiting on a Red Sox offer. If there’s truth to that I find it a bit troublesome.

  20. NL_Cubs

    Out of all the candidates the Cubs interviewed, I thought Maddux was the best one for the job…until I heard and read about his interview, personal life, etc. It was apparent that his heart was not in it. Sveum does nothing to excite me.

    I would like to see the Cubs plug in an interim manager for 2012 and go heavy after Maddon at seasons end. That guy fits the mold for me as manager of the Cubs and would truly bring a new dynamic to the organization for years to come.

     

  21. Ronnie A.

    Brett, if we do get dale do you think we’d have a slight “edge” in the running for prince?

  22. Cheryl

    If Sveum is waiting on a Red Sox offer it would seem like he is not completely sold on the cubs. Yes he has to check out contract issues, etc. But I wouldn’t be surprised if he turned around and went with the Red Sox. Then, that would leavE Alomar or possibly Tito on an interim basis.

    1. Toosh

      Don’t forget Mackanin and Hale!

      1. JulioZuleta

        Or he’s trying to squeeze another 500K or so out of the Cubs. Remember, managers don’t get paid nearly as well as superstar players, the difference in a mil a year is very significant to them.

  23. Deer

    This will be Theo’s first slip up if Sveum turns the Cubs down. Plan B options of Mackanin, Alomar Jr, and Hale don’t look good. I still don’t get why no one else with managing experience was officially interviewed. People will say Francona wasn’t a known guy back in 04, but at least he had ML managing experience.

    1. Bails17

      Time will tell.  I will say this…I think Theo was is a very calculating and careful executive that was already planning on something like that.  My guess is Sveum will be with the Cubs as Theo was careful to make sure his guy was sold on them before offering the job.  I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.

  24. Mike F

    Brett is 100% correct, the reaction to Sveum not being the first choice is all media driven. Starting this past weekend it was prominent in the media, the top choice was Alomar, within a 24 hour period it was then Maddux, another 24 hours brought Maddux and Sveum and finally Franconoa. This is what happens with good management, they don’t talk. I don’t believe for a minute Francona was ever high if at all on the list. Alomar might be plan C. and Maddux while on the media list as favorite, by his actions raised questions about availability. There’s absolutely no job, including cashier you can do if you raise the issue of availability. I think he was an attractive candidate, but seriously doubt he was ever their first choice as he wouldn’t work through the issue of availability. That’s fair on his part, but don’t buy into the media junk as it simply doesn’t stand to reason, as of early Weds Maddux was still waffling. Yes, both Francona and Maddux withdrew their names, perfectly understandable after they are their agents I’m completely certain found out neither would get the job.

  25. Steve

    I don’t know, I’m not 100% sold on this whole Theo thing. He is bringing in his old friends painting a whole new identity for the Cubs but I have bot been blown away with any decisions he has made yet. Cubs had a great draft without him and people don’t realize or forget the good situation he walked into at Boston. His best sign wish Ortiz with a handful of bad ones. Yes Dustin was great bit came up within the system I believe before Theo was there. I am still optimistic and trying to remain patient but I see this Managerial situation blowing up in everyones face.