As we begin to digest Joe Maddon’s departure from the Rays, interest will begin to focus on what’s next for the now-former manager. We at MLBTR have diligently collected quite a volume of information and reactions to Maddon’s decision. If you’re lacking any detail from yesterday’s surprise announcement, you’ll probably find it there.
We know that Maddon reportedly seeks a five-year, $25MM contract. And as we learned earlier tonight, the move may have been mutually beneficial for Maddon and the Rays. Maddon would have been a lame duck manager with his contract set to expire after the season and little hope for an extension. Now the Rays can get a head start on finding their next manager.
The Twins are the only club with a current opening at manager, and they appear to have narrowed the search to their three finalists. Minnesota GM Terry Ryan will reportedly do his due diligence, but it’s worth noting they have never paid a manager an annual rate above $2MM.
The Cubs are a much rumored destination due to supposed similarities between Maddon and Cubs president Theo Epstein. However, second year manager Rick Renteria led the club to 73 wins while overseeing a few breakout performances. He also handled a potentially fractious bullpen with aplomb. Low expectations helped Renteria form a good impression, but Chicago already appears to be in excellent hands.
Other managers on the hot seat like Ryne Sandberg, Terry Collins, and Fredi Gonzalez have all received votes of confidence since Maddon hit the open market. While that doesn’t necessarily mean anything, it would be a bold move to fire a manager who was considered secure (for now) as of just a few days ago. Another NL East club that might make sense – the Nationals – just reached the playoffs in Matt Williams first season with the club.
Of course, the question as posed does not exclude a mid-season job offer for Maddon, so let’s make that a separate option.