The Cubs’ decision to replace Rick Renteria with Joe Maddon seems “a little dirty,” but the baseball world will go on, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal writes. The Rays believe the Cubs tampered with Maddon while they had him under contract, and others in the game aren’t happy that Maddon’s situation led to Renteria’s firing. Rosenthal notes that if MLB can prove the Cubs tampered, the Rays could demand a promising young player in compensation, maybe even a player as talented as Javier Baez or Addison Russell. Here’s more from the Central divisions.
- GM Dave Dombrowski says the Tigers would have retained outfielder Andy Dirks in 2015 if they knew he would be healthy, Tom Gage of the Detroit News tweets. Dirks platooned with Matt Tuiasosopo in left field for the Tigers in 2013, but he missed the entire 2014 season with back and hamstring issues, and the Tigers lost him on waivers to the Blue Jays today.
- Indians GM Chris Antonetti doesn’t believe Jason Giambi will be a good fit for the team’s roster next season, Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer tweets. Giambi will be 44 in January, and he hit .133/.257/.267 in limited duty in 2014, so it’s no surprise that the Indians might move on. Terry Francona has called Giambi a “manager-in-waiting,” so Giambi’s next move could involve coaching.
- The Indians have made a variety of front office moves, Hoynes tweets. Ross Atkins will be Cleveland’s new vice president in charge of player personnel, with Carter Hawkins becoming director of player development and Paul Gillispie the director of pro scouting.
Maddon had an opt out clause. Even if Tampa could prove the Cubs tampered MLB isn’t going to award TB a top 20 prospect. That’s ridiculous.
The opt out clause doesn’t mean much if the Cubs negotiated (or just discussed plans) with Maddon, but I agree there is no way they would get a top 20 prospect, regardless. Is there any precedent for tampering with manager contracts?
no, but the last time i remember a team giving out compensation to another is when the Cubs gave the Sox Chris Carpenter (no, not THAT one, the other one) for Epstein.
I read somewhere that the FO of the Rays reminded him that he had an opt out clause.
I read the same thing.
Tampering would be any contact of the Cubs with Maddon about a contract, before he left the Rays (using his opt out clause).
The opt out clause itself is irrelevant. Not sure you understand what tampering is.
The grievance would be that the Cubs contact swayed Maddon out of Tampa, hence the compensation.
the opt out clause is very much relevant. As soon as he triggers it, he’s free to speak to anyone and everyone. There was no exclusive negotiation time stipulated.
For there to be tampering, Tampa would have to prove the Cubs contacted him or his agent before he opted out of the contract.
That is obviously what they would have to prove. I know.
However, the opt-out clause is not relevant at all to PROVING tampering.
Any contact prior to him execising the opt-out would be tampering. If the contact was after the opt-out it would not be tampering. Simple as that.
I identified that in my first comment ; not sure what your obsession with the opt-out has to do with PROVING tampering.
If Maddon or his agent initiated contact and basically made it known he planned to opt out to the Rays would that be considered tampering by the Cubs? Let’s even say the Cubs did not respond to such contact initiated by Maddon’s side.
Could Maddon or his agent be charged with something similar to tampering if his contract stated he could not contact other employers while under contract?
I’m fairly ignorant with MLB tampering policy so this is all pretty interesting.
It would still be tampering if the Cubs expressed any interest, even if contact was initiated by Maddon or his agent. (It might be a mitigating factor in any compensation discussions though.)
Indeed, if there was any tampering (and I’m not speculating one way or another) that’s probably exactly how it started — I don’t know how the Cubs would know Maddon even HAD an opt-out option unless he or his agent told them, considering Maddon himself said he didn’t know originally.
Well I wonder if the contact might have been his agent putting the news out
“Hey, Maddon is going to opt out, he is interested…”
And that’s it without the Cubs coming back with any contact. Maybe that is why other teams were calling for tampering as maybe they knew Maddon or his agent sent the message out prior to opting out and felt the Cubs must have responded back.
Like you I find it hard to believe the Cubs heard out somehow that he had an opt out before exercising it. If the Cubs knew beforehand then who else? It could have been an open secret within the league at some point.
Will MLB make an effort to gather evidence. They could probably examine phone and computer records of any team. I don’t believe they’ll even ask questions. Manfred is probably thrilled at the Cubs renaissance and as his record shows so far, PR considerations are extremely important.
Out in Left Field
Maddon proved his lack of integrity. The Cubs ownership never had any. The one I am surprised about is Epstein. He seemed on the up and up, but he was right in the middle of this slimeball move. The bottomline is that baseball is a game that is not kind to those that have no honor.
He was in contact with Renteria the whole time.
Nice guys finish last buddy.
Why do you think everyone has no integrity? Maddon didn’t have to stay with the Rays as his contract stated … The rays even commented that they reminded Maddon that he had a opt out available to him for the next two weeks when the Gm left. He did the right thing as the rays are in a freefall as their draft pick’s aren’t early ones for the last few years as they had success in the game (rightfully so). Seems to me that the Cubs didn’t know Maddon had an out clause (as Maddon himself was notified of it by the team). Epstein did nothing wrong then and neither did the cubs as they have a right to go hard after a free agent manager. There is nothing here to see so I bet MLB moves on after the Rays get their last 5 minutes of fame before they fade into the lower levels of losing again. The real tragedy here is what happened to the luxury tax monies they get every year from the other teams as they never spend it on better players!!!
How is this a slimeball move? Maddon did what was best for him, the Cubs did what was best for them, and nobody took advantage of anyone or was taken advantage of by anyone. I am all for the public good and sacrificing personal gain for a community’s well being, but nobody here did anything to harm someone else. Renteria may have gotten the worst of the deal in the sense that he will no longer manage the team, but he will be well compensated and has talent enough to get another job. They kept him in the loop the whole time. I am a Rays fan. Maddon doesn’t lack integrity. I wish he would have stayed with the Rays (despite disagreeing with half of his decisions this year), but how can I blame the man for doing what is right for him? He led the Rays to 6 consecutive winning seasons, multiple playoff berths, and helped redefine statistical managing balanced with player comfort. Baseball may be a business, but Maddon’s move is not of the unethical capitalist variety that most of America’s corporate elite does everyday to harm us all.
I don’t have a problem with the Cubs wanting to hire Maddon. However, they should’ve fired Renteria before they started the whole process. It looks horrible to be negotiating with someone else to become your manager when you already have a manager. It makes the Cubs look bad & it makes Maddon look like he is trying to steal another manager’s job. Keeping Renteria in the loop doesn’t make it okay. It was saying “Hey Rick, we want Maddon, but if we don’t get him, we’ll stick with you.” That isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement. The Cubs are lucky that Renteria handled it with clas. Some managers would’ve told the Cubs where to go.
His settlement might have required that he play nice. He also might think that by voicing his true thoughts in public, he’d never manage again. At least by keeping his mouth shut, he comes off as a sympathetic figure. I don’t believe anyone thought Renteria would be the manager for a long time. I always saw him as a short timer with the Cubs.
Bottom line, it’s a business. This type of stuff goes on all the time in real jobs, why wouldn’t it happen in sports. It’s not as though Renteria won’t walk away with a huge check in the process.
What a joke. Tampering is nearly impossible to prove (it happens all the time). Then to suggest they’d have to give up a top 5 prospect in the game…..
It does not happen all the time and is taken very seriously by team owners. And yes, if it’s proven (which I agree is hard, unless the Cubs were awfully dumb about it) the Rays could easily be awarded something that valuable. The Rays would demand nothing less, the Cubs would have no leg to stand on, and no other teams would back them up.
Sure, they could demand ownership of the team too, but that doesn’t mean anything. There is no precedent that would lead one to believe they would be awarded anything near a top 5 prospect in all of baseball. You’re only kidding yourself if you don’t think teams talk with future FAs using back channels to gauge interest. Teams just know how to do so without getting caught.
Joe Maddon > top 5 prospect
If it is in fact proven, it would be a very big deal in today’s game.
It won’t be.
But if it was, MLB would be harsh.
id WAY rather have addison russell and rick renteria than maddon and a regular AA ss.
I wonder if they eventually settle if this drags on, and offer a B level prospect.
“Nearly impossible” is a generalization that doesn’t apply to this situation. MLB is such an iron fisted monopoly, I’d be shocked if they couldn’t examine communication records. They’re willing to spend tens of millions investigating players. I’d say if there was tampering and they attempted to determine it, they almost certainly could. I just don’t think they care.
Give ’em Edwin Jackson!
He makes more than the Rays staff combined.
And pitches worse than Grant Balfour with a broken arm.
I lied. Grant Balfour pitches like a little leaguer with a broken arm. *rollseyes*
and Jackson still pitches like Balfour with a broken arm.
To be fair, Jackson did not award himself that contract.
doesn’t make him any less awful, though. The contract’s actually not that horrible these days… 11 million AAV isn’t much more than average for any FA…. but again, doesn’t make Jackson’s numbers any less terrible….
A guy with his numbers making the ML minimum would catch less flack though.
because they’d have been demoted, released or waived.
The contract is on Theo… the lack of performance is all on Jackson, though. his pitching coach has gotten near miracles out of Arietta, Feldman and Hammel, after all.
A little dirty? Honestly, I don’t see the difference between bringing in a better
player who plays the same position and bringing in a better manager.
Players get benched, released, traded, etc. all the time and there’s no
sentimentality involved. Why is this any different?
If the Cubs sign Jon Lester and that results in the team releasing Edwin Jackson,
will anyone feel bad for Jackson? (I realize RR has done a better job
than E-Jax but still)
The dirty part is the tampering. If Maddon had been free, there would be no question whatsoever.
If there was tampering, that’s fair.
He was free. He opted out of his contract when the Rays told him he had that clause. He could have signed anywhere else. But I know all of baseball wants the Cubs to be down. All just mad and nervous about what could be happening, its ok I get it
If that is what happened, it wouldn’t be tampering. Obviously.
The tampering complaint would have to prove that their was contact BEFORE he exercised the opt-out, a clear violation of MLB’s rules that state a team cannot (without permission) contact another team’s asset if they are under contract (which Maddon still was, before the opt-out).
Correct. The Rays theory, I think, is that they told Maddon of the opt-out (if that’s even true … I don’t think the Rays have ever confirmed it) and then he immediately went to the Cubs and confirmed they would hire him. Then Maddon opted out. Obviously, a theory’s nice but they would need some evidence. We’ll see if they have any.
I would add that what appears to be making the Rays suspicious is that they were negotiating with Maddon on an extension until the point they told him about the opt-out. And then immediately thereafter the talks went cold. That’s far from proof, but it’s suggestive for sure.
And Maddon told them they would need to come up with a 5 yr contract worth around 25m is the scuttlebutt but the Rays would never do that so when the opt out was noted Maddon even said he would sit out a year to get the 25M contract with a team set to contend to be a winner. That had to tick off the rays as they were then confirmed to be tightwads and not a chance to be in contention by Maddon it would appear. They seem to want to scare Maddon as they virtually have no other chance here.
When Maddon made that demand is key. Reading between the lines, seems like the Rays are saying he said nothing of the sort until shortly after being informed of the opt out. Circumstantially, that’s pretty suspicious, but obviously not nearly enough to claim tampering. That and a known contact between someone associated with the Cubs would be, though.
being a free agent gives him substantially more leverage to make such a demand, though, even without other teams bidding for his services.
Sort of. Except he was negotiating an extension that would have started after his current contract ran out, wasn’t he?
maybe, maybe not. contract extensions can supersede existing deals. If he was locked in to his current salary for next year with no options, the Rays have all the immediate leverage and the conversation is pretty much all about future raises. They could have agreed to an immediate raise but didn’t have to.
opting out takes away the Rays only real contract leverage and gives him and his agent pretty much all the leverage in negotiations.
that we don’t know… it could of been that way OR a raise for all years after 14 as contracts with managers don’t count against any cap. we will never know which way for sure…
Key to me was they were negotiating with him then found out his price (whatever it was for them was higher than they liked) then reminded him of opt out. that seems likely to happen … then he moved on it… why wouldn’t he as he could still negotiate with the rays too.
Sure, if that’s the sequence there’s no case at all.
Seam, something you said earlier stuck with me and I just realized what it was. along the lines that Maddon immediately went to the cubs and confirmed they would hire him or wanted him which ever you thought it was. They could of happened alright BUT if the cubs stated they were looking but couldn’t talk to him about it than that wouldn’t actually be tampering because Maddon called them. IE the cubs could state they like that but can’t talk about it because of tampering until he opted out.
So you might be close to right there but if that was stated It wouldn’t be tampering. As long as the cubs stated it that way on their end anyway which again is just us speculating.
Tampering hasn’t been proven. It’s their fault for negotiating that out clause. Their President, and not their manager leave, and they see Montreal looming in the distance. Seems like sour grapes to me. Although, I wouldn’t doubt if the Cubs, through back channels, expressed interest before Maddon was officially a FA. It’s no different with players.
I don’t have a problem with bringing in a better manager. I just think the Cubs could’ve handled a lot better. It is one thing to bring in a new manager when you have a vacancy, but when you already have a manager and you start negotiating with someone else, it comes across as classless and disrespectful.
Do we know if GM’s get paid their salary just like major league players do if they get fired before their contract is up?
Yeah, GM’s, managers, coaches, etc. get paid the full contract.
Well now I don’t feel to bad for RR
He lost a possible once and a lifetime opportunity to Manage at the big league level. I still feel for the guy, even if he gets another opportunity this was a controversial move, though I believe the cubs are not wrong in doing it, I wish RR gets the manager slot of another team soon
I’m sure they gave Renteria most, if not all of the remaining two years. Hell, they might have even offered him some hush money, so he wouldn’t gripe after losing his gig like this.
You think the Rays will call RR to be their manager? That would be entertaining.
wouldn’t be a bad hire for them, IMO. He got some pretty good results out young players and the team was playing hard even in last place at the end of the season.
Cubs didn’t tamper at all. They heard that Maddon was opting out and they called the Major League Baseball office to confirm that with the league office. When Maddon became a free agent, they had any right to contact him. I also don’t know how you can say its dirty. This is a business of winning and any GM/ President of Baseball ops is going to make that move. Sorry but if Mike Trout came available on the market but you had to give up like Soler, of course you are doing that.
And you know this, how? The Rays could very well know something you don’t (quite likely, in fact). It’s very VERY suspicious to me.
David Kaplan reported that the Cubs talked to Renteria first about it and then they did confirm with major league baseball before everything.
What does Renteria have to do with the tampering charge?
Nothing, it just has to do with the dirty thing. Lot of people think the Cubs kept Renteria in the dark about the process but they talked to him before. Was just saying everything Kaplan reported
No need to keep him informed. The internet did a fine job of that. There was speculation about the Cubs the instant Maddon opted out. If they were talking to Renteria before that, it’s pretty strong evidence they indeed tampered.
and then people would be all over the Cubs as heartless like they were after the manufactured outrage over the Ryne Sandberg voice mail ‘scandal’.
I would believe Renteria knew it before the Internet did.
The Cubs stated that they knew Maddon opted out a day before it became public. That can easily account for all of the “instant” interest between the Cubs/Maddon that was reported. It wasn’t really “instant” at all.
Or the Rays could be fishing for a free prospect… or trying to save face…. or just have been trying to scare the Cubs off to buy time to negotiate more…
Good point. They might be hoping they get something, anything, at this point. They lost their Prez and manager in short time. The walls are crumbling.
Yeh this Maddon tampering thing is an interesting sidebar…
But how could the Tigers lose Andy Dirks?
Hunter may not be resigned. Victor may be too expensive. Why keep some one who can provide a better bat on the bench than Don Kelly, or Ezeq Cabrera. Obviously DD understated their financial situation if they cant afford Dirk 1.5MM contract.
Tampa is going to have problems finding any Tampering with Cubs & Maddden because their the ones that contact Joe Madden about him having opt out deal, unless his agent brought it up if they were going to work on new deal but to come out to say that cubs could be tampering would be just to tough to prove..
Plus Theo said that they called major league baseball office to try and confirm that Maddon was becoming a free agent. Now why would he lie about that? If that’s true that they wanted to double check he opted out, then no way they tampered
Bottom line is, if they tampered there are more ways to prove it today than in the past. Phone calls, emails, tweets, texts, etc. all leave trails that can be followed An agent could claim he called Cubs on another matter but if such a call were made the circumstantial nature could make the case. We were shocked because Maddon apparently can keep his business to himself, and once he was informed of his opt out chance he had a limited window and appeared to use it.
If Epstein pulls off the improbable and rehabilitates both the Red Sox and the Cubs he wouldn’t need an encore…
This is also going to tell us a little more about the impact Maddon had in Tampa. The kind of thing that makes us long for Spring Training.
Mlb “mr Maddon did you speak with the Cubs before you opted out of Tampa?” Maddon “no I did not”
Mlb” Mr Epstein did you speak with Mr Maddon before he opted out of Tampa?”
Theo “no I did not”
Mlb ok. Noting we can do.
Tampering is always possible, but a lot of things would have had to have been sequentially correct and a lot of supposedly private information would have had to have been known. No one seems to be saying the Cubs were doing anything like “gee, that Maddon, we’d pay 5/25 for a guy like him.” Once Maddon opted out there couldn’t be tampering, because he’s a free agent. I think the info that Maddon didn’t know about the opt out might very well be true, but I have a hard time believing that his agent forgot about it. Perhaps his agent made a few phone calls between the time Friedman left and Maddon opted out, and perhaps one of those calls went to the Cubs, and perhaps the Cubs, instead of saying “sorry, he’s under contract” said something like “sorry, he’s under contract, but if he weren’t…) But that’s a lot to prove, and suspicion is not proof. As for Renteria, he got a bum deal, but he still is going to get paid, and, one could say his time in Chicago was a “pillow” year–his reputation is probably enhanced after all this, and I would imagine he will get another job. I
Two notes for Tigers fans:
1. MADDON/TIGERS: A strength of Dombrowski is integrity with other GMs, Managers, Agents and Owners. He was not willing to go under the table or go back on his word to Ausmus to go after Maddon. That is a key reason why he can make big trades and FA Acquisitions and a key reason why the Tigers are successful in the long run.
2. DIRKS: Dirks was a plus defender in the OF and a left handed bat…. exactly what the Tigers needed. There must be more about this injury thing.
Maybe he was fine with Ausmus, and didn’t think Maddon would be much of an upgrade, if any, over Maddon. It also helps that ownership allows him to spend. $$ helps too.
My logic is more that getting Maddon is against Dombrowski’s MO from a tactical perspective.
For good or bad, “above the table” relationships is Dombrowski’s “brand”.
Is there a difference in replacing your manager in the off-season because you can make your team better and trading your CF mid-season because you can make your team better?
IMHO yes. AJax didn’t lose his job, he just went to another team where he had the same job (with a team that ended up with almost the same record as Detroit and almost made the playoffs,so it’s not like he went to the Astros or the 2013 Mariners.) Renteria lost his job, even though he’s still going to get a nice paycheck. Trades happen all the time, but what happened with Renteria doesn’t happen that much in baseball. Though it does happen a lot in regular jobs.
Fair enough. I just don’t believe that Theo and company were unethical per se, and believe Renteria was always going to be the guy, before the guy, unless the won before they expected it to happen. I have little sympathy for Ricky, as he’s walking away with a nice check, real nice, for 1 year of work. That being said, Dombrowski is an excellent GM.
If Dirks 1.5 MM contract was too expensive for the bench, I have to believe that DD couldn’t afford Maddon anyway. Please don’t try to say they needed the roster spot as they don’t have that many minor leaguers worth protecting.
I don’t think he was too expensive. I think it was the injury problem, and that they’ll end up paying someone a lot more than that to replace him. I can’t believe people think they can’t afford or don’t want to spend 1.5 million for an outfielder. But maybe they don’t want to spend it if they think he won’t be healthy for a good portion of the year.
Sour grapes by Tampa, They were going to cut payroll even further, and he had an out clause. The team never draws, and he’s not getting any younger. None of us are. Poor Ricky will be walking out the door with a very heavy check in his hands. I wish I had that same amount coming my way.
Moving a Baez or Russell due to tampering would set quite a precedent. I can’t see anything near this kind of punishment.
what if Maddon doesn’t sign with Cubs?