Cubs release veteran outfielder Victorino

Cubs release veteran outfielder Victorino

ST. LOUIS -- The Cubs feel that veteran outfielder Shane Victorino is Major League-ready, but they don't have a spot for him, so he was released on Monday.

Victorino, 35, signed a Minor League deal with the Cubs in Spring Training but was bothered by a strained left calf. He eventually joined Triple-A Iowa and batted .233 in nine games with five RBIs.

When Jason Heyward was injured on Friday, the Cubs opted to activate Matt Szczur from the disabled list rather than add Victorino, a 12-year veteran. Szczur is out of options.

"We really like Matt and think he's a key contributor, and as a result, Shane didn't really have a fit," general manager Jed Hoyer said on Monday. "Given his career and the fact he's Major League-ready, having him sit down there and bide his time didn't make a lot of sense. He'll find a job, he should find a job. We really enjoyed having him."

Victorino, a two-time All-Star, has 1,274 career hits with the Phillies, Padres, Dodgers, Padres, Angels and Red Sox. He won World Series titles with the Phillies in 2008 and Red Sox in 2013.

He last played in the Majors in 2015, for the Angels. He batted .230 with one home run and seven RBIs in 71 games that season between Los Angeles and Boston.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.