And so it’s official.  The Cubs have hired Dale Sveum to be their new manager.  It’s reportedly a three-year deal.  His official introduction will be tomorrow morning at Wrigley Field at 9am CT.

That the Brewers’ hitting coach and former Red Sox’ third base coach had been chosen to be the new Cubs manager might have been one of the worst-kept secret in baseball.  Rumors began popping up all over Twitter yesterday evening that Epstein and Hoyer were going with Sveum (pronounced “swaim”).  The choice isn’t a total surprise–Theo and Jed have a long history with Dale (pronounced “dale”), and he’s reported to take a similar approach to combining statistical analysis and old fashioned scoutin’ as the Cubs’ new brain trust.

One interesting wrinkle is the timing of their decision.  Shortly before the Sveum-to-Cubs rumors started swirling, the Red Sox front office seemed headed in Sveum’s direction.  Cubs’ president Epstein and Red Sox president Larry Lucchino had a semi-public falling out, and it’s possible that the Cubs’ decision was sped up by a desire to pluck away a primary candidate from Boston.  We probably won’t know for sure, but it’s clear Sveum was in-demand, and that at least two clubs looked to be vying for his services.  Now Boston goes back to the drawing board, and we prepare to put our confidence and our beloved team into the hands of another journeyman coach.

I’ll update this post throughout the rest of the day with the latest news and reactions on the Cubs’ new manager.

ESPN’s Gordon Edes writes about Sveum’s hiring, and what it means for the Red Sox manager search.

Paul Sullivan writes about the Cubs new manager, and wonders if his relationship with Prince Fielder increases the chances of the Cubs signing the corpulent power-hitter.  It also includes a short video of Sveum talking about taking over the Cubs.

Phil Rogers wrote earlier today that the if the Cubs really stole Sveum from the Red Sox, Boston might turn around and tab Ryne Sandberg to be their next manager.  I don’t think it’s a likely scenario, but it’s an interesting idea and his column hints at the icy relationship between Epstein and Lucchino.

Bruce Levine writes about the possibility of Sveum bringing Prince Fielder with him.

Although it’s not specifically about the Cubs, here’s an article from Ken Rosenthal about the search for the next Red Sox manager, and how Epstein made have taken their first choice out from under them by hiring Sveum.  The front office rivalry with the Red Sox might be just getting started.

Bruce Levine writes about how Sveum’s skills match up well with the Cubs’ needs.

Jon Greenburg gives some insight into who Dale Sveum is, and what his hiring says about the new direction for the Cubs.

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