After a relatively weak 2014 campaign where he saw only 77 games because of a hamstring injury, Ryan Sweeney was given a decent shot this Spring with the Cubs. However, due to a few of his teammate’s injuries, roster limitations and inevitable call-ups, he was released this afternoon after being designated for assignment on Sunday.
Sweeney, 30, has had a good career that began with the Chicago White Sox in 2006, but his numbers have tailed off in the past couple of years. A career .276 hitter, his numbers were below par with a slash line of .251/.304/.338 to go along with 12 extra base hits in those 77 games.
He’s a good role player and a better than average defensive player with a .994 career fielding percentage. However, the Cubs came in to their 2015 Spring Training with an abundance of weather as far as outfielders are concerned, and it was always known that a few who were good enough to make the 25-man squad would find their way to Triple-A or be given an outright release. Other players like Matt Szczur and Dexter Fowler out played Sweeney this Spring. Sweeney was expected to be a backup at best, but with the advent of Arismendy Alcantara (The Team’s super sub) and inevitable call-up Kris Bryant (who’s began working in the outfield) there wasn’t much room for a guy who’s only played more than a 100 games in a season three times in his career.
The Cubs will also take a small financial hit as Sweeney is owed $1.5 million for this season and a $500,000 buyout for 2016. Baseball contracts are guaranteed and when released, money usually changes hands. Such is life, and such is the game of baseball.