- Associated Press - Sunday, March 27, 2011

MESA, ARIZ. (AP) - Carlos Silva was released by the Chicago Cubs on Sunday, one day after they told the veteran pitcher he would not make the opening-day roster.

The move leaves the Cubs on the hook for Silva’s $11.5 million salary this season. The 31-year-old right-hander made it clear Saturday he would not accept a minor league assignment.

The Cubs informed Silva on Saturday that he would not break camp with the club. They said they would try to trade him but if they couldn’t, they hoped he would go to the minor leagues.

Silva, however, said “no chance” to a Triple-A assignment and then criticized first-year pitching coach Mark Riggins for not “being straight” with him about the team’s plans.

“Riggs came to me and said, ‘What a day, and now go out there and do your workout and continue pitching the way you’re doing,’” Silva said Saturday. “A half-hour later, he called me into the hall and started talking to me.

“I’m like, if you have to say something, be straight. He has to learn he’s in the big leagues now, know what I mean? There’s no kids around here anymore.”

That brought a sharp rebuke from Cubs general manager Jim Hendry.

“Basically, he wasn’t good enough to make the team,” Hendry said. “You factor in not only spring training, but you try to go back and factor in the second half of last year, looking at a guy who had a 14-something ERA from July 11 and came to camp with a notion that he already had a spot in the rotation. Obviously, the first three, four outings, quite poor.”

Andrew Cashner won the final spot in Chicago’s rotation.

Silva was 1-2 with a 10.90 ERA in five appearances this spring. He also accepted blame for a brief scuffle in the dugout with teammate Aramis Ramirez during his first Cactus League start. Silva was upset at the time over some poor fielding by the Cubs.

The criticism of Riggins on Saturday was the final straw for the team.

“His comments about Mark Riggins were totally inappropriate and unacceptable,” Hendry said. “Once again, it’s a weakness for somebody that doesn’t perform well and chooses to blame somebody else on the way out.”

The Cubs obtained Silva in a trade with Seattle for outfielder Milton Bradley on Dec. 18, 2009. Last season, Silva began 8-0 before finishing 10-6 with a 4.22 ERA.

In the second half of the season, Silva suffered from a heart-rhythm problem and was shut down in September because of right elbow tendinitis.

In addition to the Cubs and Mariners, Silva has pitched in the big leagues for Philadelphia and Minnesota. He has a career record of 70-70 with a 4.68 ERA in 316 games.