Well, it was a good deal when it was signed.
I refer, of course, to the two-year-plus-option deal the Chicago Cubs signed with Ryan Sweeney after he showed them some very nice things in the 2013 season. The deal – which guaranteed $3.5 million total over two years – valued Sweeney as a decent 4th/5th outfielder, and preserved the Cubs a cheap team option on the back-end in case he proved to be more than that. Simultaneously, the deal wasn’t so large that it would hurt the Cubs if things didn’t work out. I really liked the deal, insofar as a person can like those kinds of minor deals (and I’m that kind of person).
But it didn’t work out. Sweeney, 30, struggled last year when he was healthy, and he found himself bounced by a roster crunch just before Opening Day. Thus, he was designated for assignment on Sunday, and, as anticipated, there was no real market for him in a trade at this point, given the sizable volume of bench outfielders available on the market right now. So, today, the Cubs released Sweeney (Mooney, Rogers)
The team will eat the $1.5 million he’s owed for 2015, plus the $500,000 buyout on the 2016 option. If another team picks him up (one will), and if he makes the Major Leagues again (he might), the Cubs will save a prorated portion of the Major League minimum (i.e., if he’s up for 4/5 of a season, the Cubs will save about $400,000).
After Sweeney was DFA’d, the Cubs’ 40-man roster dropped to 39, where it stands today.