Cubs sign Victorino to Minor League deal

Veteran OF excited to work with young stars in pursuit of championship

February 26th, 2016

MESA, Ariz. -- This offseason, Shane Victorino worked out with Dexter Fowler and Kris Bryant in Las Vegas. On Friday, the three were reunited as teammates after Victorino signed a Minor League deal with the Cubs.

"I'm just ready for an opportunity and hope to be part of something special," Victorino said. "I've been blessed in my career to be part of a couple special championships in special cities. I tell myself, being a fan of the game, when there's a 100-plus-year drought in championships, you always want to be the first. That's the goal."

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Victorino, 35, has two World Series rings, winning with the Phillies in 2008 and with the Red Sox in '13. The Cubs, as most of their fans know, haven't won a World Series since 1908.

With Fowler's return and the addition of Jason Heyward, where will Victorino fit? Cubs manager Joe Maddon said he'll take advantage of Victorino's experience, use him off the bench and an occasional spot start. That's OK for Victorino.

"It's not about playing time, it's not about where things are, it's about winning," he said. "Obviously, for me, I have to win my job on the team, and from there be the best player I can be to help the Cubs win a championship."

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Victorino played for the Red Sox and Angels last season, batting .230 in 71 games. He has played for the Padres, Phillies, Dodgers, Red Sox and Angels over 12 seasons.

Victorino does have an unusual memory of his playing days at Wrigley Field.

"The memory that sticks out to me is that beer being poured on my head back in the day at Wrigley as a visiting player," he said of an incident in August 2009. "You think about those kind of moments, and respectfully so. I understand the passion of Cubs fans. My brother was a childhood Cubs fan, and [Ryne] Sandberg was his favorite player, Andre Dawson.

"I'm used to seeing a Cubs logo since I was a child. To be able to put it on now, even with the situation the way it is, I'm excited for the opportunity in Spring Training."

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Bryant did talk to Victorino about playing with the Cubs.

"[Victorino] won a couple World Series, and he said when he goes back to Philadelphia, everyone loves him there," Bryant said. "I think he wants to be part of a team that can do that again. We certainly have the right guys, and he's just another piece who is very important to us to make that run. He has that playoff experience and World Series experience, and it will help us young guys."

The deal is for $1 million plus $1 million in incentives if Victorino plays in the Majors, MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported.