The Chicago Cubs fired manager Dale Sveum, the team announced Monday.
Sveum managed the Cubs for two seasons. He had one year left on his contract.
"Today, we made the very difficult decision to relieve Dale Sveum of his duties as Cubs manager," president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said in a statement. "Dale has been a committed leader for this team the last two seasons, and I want to thank him for all of his dedication and hard work. I have a lot of admiration for Dale personally, and we all learned a lot from the way he has handled the trying circumstances of the last two years, especially the last two weeks, with strength and dignity."
The Cubs finished 127-196 under Sveum, including 66-96 and last in the National League Central this year.
"Today's decision to pursue a new manager was not made because of wins and losses," Epstein said. "Our record is a function of our long-term building plan and the moves we have made -- some good, a few we would like back -- to further this strategy. ... Today's decision was absolutely not made to provide a scapegoat for our shortcomings or to distract from our biggest issue -- a shortage of talent at the major league level. We have been transparent about what we are, and what we are not yet. Today's decision, which was painful for all of us, was made to move us closer to fulfilling our ultimate long-term vision for the Cubs."
The club will begin pursuing a new manager immediately. Epstein said a new manager will be named before the general manager meetings in November.
"There are no absolute criteria, but we will prioritize managerial or other on-field leadership experience and we will prioritize expertise developing young talent," he said. "We have not yet contacted any candidates or asked permission to speak with any candidates, but that process will begin (Tuesday) morning."
There is speculation that the Cubs may pursue New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who played for the Cubs. Girardi has not made a decision on his future.