Here’s the latest on former Rays manager Joe Maddon.
- In an interview with MLB.com’s Bill Chastain, Maddon explains why he decided to opt out of his contract with the Rays. Maddon says that, after the Rays informed him of his opt-out clause, they extended a new offer, but the two parties failed to find common ground. He adds that he currently has no employment offers and is “open for anything,” including sitting out for the year.
- Both sides thought they would agree to a new contract for between three and 10 years, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Ultimately, though, those negotiations fizzled. Maybe that was because the salaries offered (which would have reached just above $3MM annually) were too small, but Topkin writes that some within the Rays wonder whether another team might have reached out and expressed interest in Maddon. If so, that could lead to a tampering charge.
- Topkin also notes that team president Matt Silverman did not notify Maddon of his opt-out clause in an attempt to get him to leave and get a fresh start with a new manager, as some have speculated. Maddon’s agent Alan Nero was the one who had the opt-out clause included, so he was aware of its implications.
- There have been whispers that Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein recently traveled to Florida to meet with Maddon, although Nero denies that happened, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. Nero confirms, however, that he has had discussions with the Cubs and nine other teams. Nero also says that Maddon has received a number of job offers in broadcasting and in front offices, although Maddon is wary of taking a front office job with a team and creating speculation that he will ultimately replace that team’s manager.