ST.LOUIS -- The Chicago Cubs released veteran outfielder Shane Victorino on Monday but only because they didn't have a spot for him on their major league roster. They still believe he can play at the big league level.
"I think he's ready to help a team," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said Monday afternoon. "We didn't have a spot for him."
Victorino, 34, was a spring invite to Cubs camp, but an injury to his calf kept him out of action for most of spring training. He and the Cubs agreed once he was healthy that he would play for Triple-A Iowa until a decision on his future was made. The emergence of outfielder Matt Szczur, 26, made Victorino expendable.
"We really like Matt," Hoyer said. "We think he's a key contributor. As a result, Shane didn't really have a fit."
Szczur was recently on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, but once he was deemed healthy the Cubs and Victorino parted ways.
"He'll find a job," Hoyer said. "He should find a job. We enjoyed having him."
Victorino is a two-time World Series champion with the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies. He has played 12 years in the big leagues but missed time with back problems in 2014 and 2015. He was 7-for-30 in nine games for Iowa before being released.
"Given the composition of our roster, it wasn't going to work," Hoyer said.