MLB:  June 12 Rays at OriolesJoe Maddon is no longer the manager of the Tampa Bay Rays. It will take a while for that to sink in especially because it appears that Maddon doesn’t have a job lined up.

The obvious speculation at first was the Los Angeles Dodgers where Andrew Friedman recently became the president of baseball operations and their current manager, Don Mattingly, no longer seems like a good fit.

But several reports have made it clear that Maddon is not going to be managing the Dodgers in 2015, with Ken Rosenthal making the most emphatic declaration.

If not the Dodgers, then where? Most of the managerial openings have already been filled. The Minnesota Twins are the only team without a manager at this point.

According to Rosenthal, Maddon’s agent contact several teams after his client opted out and said he expects “4-5 legit suitors.” If that is the case, that means there are several teams out there willing to dump their current manager and hire Maddon.

The team being mentioned by most is the Chicago Cubs, where Rick Renteria is under contract as manager through the 2016 season. Theo Epstein, the Cubs’ president of baseball operations, was the general manager of the Red Sox in 2004 when Maddon was a finalist for their managerial job. That Red Sox eventually hired Terry Francona.

Maddon indicated to Marc Topkin that he does not have job lined up and pretty much just wanted to see what the free agent market would be like and what kind of offers he can get.

This still seems like a big risk with no guarantees. Maddon could have easily stayed with the Rays for the 2015 season, collected his $2 million, and made it clear to ALL teams that he would be available after the season. Instead he is making this move now after most teams wanting to make a managerial change have already hired new guys.

But if Maddon ends up on the north side of Chicago with a $5-7 million per year contract, it will just be the latest gamble he took that paid off.

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6 Comments

  1. CC says:

    Something obviously happened with Joe and ownership for him to leave with one year left on his contract. Seems to me he was not happy with them letting Friedman get away and asked Stu to get paid. They never got close on a dollar amount. So Joe told Matt and Stu he's out. Crying shame to let them 2 get away.

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  2. Mr. Smith 1980 says:

    He may have been "nicely" asked to make way for Davey Martinez... That way the new front office can truly start anew??

    What a crazy turn of events mere days after the declaration that he wanted to be here 10 more years.

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    • Gus says:

      You may be on to something. Consider that according to this tweet from Joel Sherman:

      Maddon said wasn’t aware he had opt out clause in pact if Friedman left and it was #Rays prez Silverman who told him.

      You have got to be kidding me . . . .

      "Hey Joe. We are burning this thing to the ground, slashing payroll and we need you to get the heck out of here with Andrew, Mr. Expensive Manager. You do know that you have an opt out clause and you are free to go, right?"

      This may be the smoking gun that Maddon is really furious with management -- why else would he throw Silverman under the wheels of his motorhome like that to a national writer? Makes Silverman look like a clueless guy in way over his head and that Maddon just got over on him.

      I really think Maddon did this impulsively and in frustration with Silverman and Sternberg. He doesn't have a lot of great managerial options right now (unless he cut a secret deal earlier this week -- which would explain Silverman's observation that no matter what they offered Joe, he was opting out). And I think the Rays were pressuring him to extend now so that next season was not a lame duck season.

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      • Dave says:

        Spot on. Silverman knew he couldn't extend Maddon and didn't want a lame duck manager, so he opened the door, told Maddon how nice it was outside, and by the way, you stink.

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      • Dave L says:

        "Silverman told me" is typical Maddon blowing smoke. His agent told him if he didn't already know or forgot, unlikely.

        Maddon was a Rays asset with trade value, not like Price but SOMETHING at least.

        BEFORE AF left, Maddon (agent) said sign me long term for X dollars for X years or else, and when AF left then he could and did do the what else ---which was opt out.

        Silverman couldnt resign Maddon any more than AF could. His hands were tied. Silverman had zero influence over JoeMa's departure, the die was cast when AF walked.

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  3. doug says:

    Some truth in all the above. I for one would discount Rosenthal whose track record on inside scoop is skeptical. The opt out eliminates any reciprocal compensation issues for the Dodgers and that may have influenced the initial endorsement from Friedman for Mattingly. In coaching such "commitments" are not enduring. The Dodgers now can hire Maddon without compensation and so I will not rule out the Dodgers in this scenario. Jo Ma is settled in So Cal and the fit is to tempting for both Friedman and Maddon.

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