Joe MaddonEven though Major League Baseball’s tampering investigation against the Chicago Cubs and how they hired Joe Maddon is in its sixth month, and even though one report said the Rays had proof of tampering, it sounds like the investigation will be concluded without any discipline being leveled against the Cubs.

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the investigation should be over soon and that there may not be any strong evidence to implicate the Cubs.

“The expectation is that MLB’s tampering investigation spurred by Tampa Bay’s allegation against the Cubs in the Joe Maddon case will be wrapped up fairly soon, and while MLB was still interviewing people involved as recently as last week, there is believed to have been no smoking gun found. (Had there been, it certainly wouldn’t have taken this long.)”

According to Heyman, the investigation included computer forensics on “devices” belonging to “Cubs people” as well as Maddon’s agent, Alan Nero.

Heyman also makes a weird claim that the tampering allegations against the Cubs are hurt by Maddon’s counter-offer to the Rays to stay with the team.

“One weakness in the case would seem to be Maddon’s olive-branch offer to stay with the Rays for what is said to have been a four-year deal for only slightly more than half of the $25 million, five-year deal he ultimately got with the Cubs. If he had any inkling the Cubs were going to make him $5 million a year, it’s difficult to understand why he’d offer to stay for barely more than half that.”

The biggest problem with this claim is that Maddon knows the Rays’ modus operandi as well as anybody. He knows that the Rays are not a team that is going to negotiate themselves into a price they don’t want to pay. They make what they believe is a fair offer. Maybe there is some wiggle room. But if the sides are too far apart, they will just walk away.

At the time, it is believed that the Rays’ best offer to Maddon was $3 million per year and that it was probably for just three years. Based on the wording of Heyman above it sounds like Maddon countered with a 4-year deal worth maybe $15-16 million.

A $6-7 million difference over 3-4 years may not be a big deal for a lot of teams, but Maddon is smart enough to know that his offer was never going to be accepted. At the time I called the offer “meaningless” and that stands.

And then there is this little tidbit from Heyman which is probably also meaningless, but still interesting.

“Rays owner Stuart Sternberg was said to have been quite upset to see Maddon leave, to the point of telling him he’d never work for them again upon the breakup.”

Lots of teams have had similar ugly breakups with similar declarations. Time has a funny way of healing things. So it is probably too soon to say Maddon will never be associated with the Rays again. But who knows.

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4 Comments

  1. Gus says:

    If that is true, then Sternberg is a real jerk. They put the clause in the contract that let Maddon look around upon Friedman's departure. I think it is pretty weak for the Rays to say -- we'll let you look around for a week (in the contract) but claim tampering when he did cut a deal. What good is that clause if he can't talk to other teams?

    The guy who should be upset with Maddon is the Cubs former manager Rick Renteira, who basically got his job taken away by Maddon, in violation of coaches code, right as the Cubs were about to become a force. If the Cubs are as good as we think they are, he had a good chance to be a legend, the man who broke the Curse of the Billy Goat.

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  2. Mr. Smith 1980 says:

    Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, but Joshua brought them into the promised land.

    🙂

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  3. Dave L says:

    No roster moves on the LH relief pitcher front for now, right?. Toronto starting lineup is all RH and switch hitters so we can muddle through the weekend with the current pen. Apparently they only have one lefty on the bench as well.

    No need to make a move until a move is necessary as sometimes these things sort themselves out..

    Excited to see Smyly again. Donaldson had good luck against him in limited AB's otherwise not much of a record. Pretty stiff first lineup for a lefty of an entire lineup of right handed batters.

    I am suffering Maddon vs Stu fatigue sorry for the off topic comment, all.

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