Joe Maddon

There are only 24 games left in the 2014 season and as strange as it may sound, these may be the final 24 games for Joe Maddon as manager of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Marc Topkin recently brought the subject up in a longer column on the final month and the upcoming off-season.

Here’s another thought: Joe Maddon’s contract is up after 2015, and the Rays likely will seek to work out a new deal before the season. But what if they decide they want to make a change, or don’t want to pay Maddon what he may rightfully seek after working for years at well below what top managers get? Maddon, arguably, could be one of their most valued trade commodities.

Maddon is in the second year of a 3-year deal and most teams prefer not to have a manager leading a team in the final year of their contract. However, the Rays have gone that route with Maddon before. In 2009, Maddon was in the final year of his contract before signing an extension in late May.

Still, the reason why the idea of trading Maddon is something that we should take seriously is because this is exactly how the Rays operate.

When a player starts to get expensive, it doesn’t matter how good they are, at some point the Rays are probably going to trade that player and replace him with a cheaper option.

Maddon is making approximately $2 million per season, considerably less than what some of the other top managers are paid. Mike Scioscia of the Angels is making approximately $5 million per season on a 10-year contract and Joe Girardi of the Yankees makes about $4 million per year.

If Maddon was a free agent, he would probably be able to sign a contract with another team for $25-30 million over five years.

Even if the Rays are willing to pay Maddon $4-5 million per year and give him a 4- or 5-year contract, that would still be below market value. Chances are they will offer even less. Will Maddon continue to give the Rays a discount for the sake of remaining in his comfort zone?

Joe Maddon and Dave Martinez

Complicating matters is the presence of Dave Martinez, who by most accounts, is ready to be a big league manager and will likely make considerably less than $2 million when he finally lands a job.

The Rays could trade Maddon and promote Martinez and at the same time add a couple of prospects and save up to $4 million next season.

But would the Rays really risk losing one of the best managers in baseball over what is essentially the cost of a decent middle reliever? Then again, would that really be so surprising?

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9 Comments

  1. Nick says:

    Don't forget the Rays love to promote their minor league players to skimp on payroll, why not the Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo. He has proven him self worthy of a shot on the big club. If not manager then in some capacity that will allow him to progress.

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  2. Gus says:

    This is the dumbest speculation by Topkin ever. Maddon is the franchise. No way he goes (unless he gets sick of management),

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  3. Alex says:

    Almost no chance this happens. Stupid article

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  4. Jim says:

    As long as Jim Hickey is retained, who cares if it is Maddon or Martinez. Most of Maddon's decision are made from cue cards and stats, and it may finally mean the end of Derek Shelton.

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    • Dave L says:

      Funny.

      Who letters the cue cards?

      The spirit of Don lives on!

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      • Jim says:

        You honestly think Joe compiles the stats and figures out the spreadsheets? Joe is given various situation and makes his "decisions" base upon those stats. Dave can easily do the exact same.

        Like I've said a million times, Jim Hickey is most likely the most important piece of our staff, this includes the front office. Do you honestly not think that a large part of our success is due to him? Ask Drew Smyly. I truly believe Martinez, Hickey, and any other hitting coach would be a successful combination.

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  5. Political_Man says:

    I could see Evan Longoria being traded before trading Joe Maddon. But the A's treated their managers as expendable commodities so it's not out of the realm of possibility.

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  6. Dave L says:

    That Tompkin article sort of throws everything at the wall, likely and unlikely.

    We are kind of spoiled by the current regime always giving us a winning baseball team year after year. So this year is a tough departure.

    Maddon is identified with the Rays maybe more than any other current MLB manager. He really is the face of the franchise, by design and by default.

    I really enjoy watching this team with he and AF running the show. They have actually changed MLB. I will definitely miss the guy when he departs. I would give anything for just one stinking Title but the cards are always stacked against us moneywise so it may never happen with this regime but I have to hand it to them for making it at least plausible most years.

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  7. mp645 says:

    Charlie Montoyo would be a great choice, if there is a manager opening. He is able to get prospects going and Rays certainly use many of the Bulls every year. Even though the Rays did take KK, Guyer, and others, Charlie was able to have a division champ team. Keep track of the Bulls are they are in the running for the Governor's Cup (best of the 16 AAA teams)

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