What the what? Joe Maddon leaves the Tampa Bay Rays (Update)

What the what? Joe Maddon leaves the Tampa Bay Rays (Update)

My goodness, how the small market mighty have fallen.

Just a couple weeks after Andrew Friedman left the Tampa Bay Rays to become the new head of baseball operations for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Rays manager, Joe Maddon, decided he didn't want to stick around in Florida either:

 

Early indications are that Maddon won't be replacing Don Mattingly, since Friedman is committed to keeping Mattingly for now. Here's what the Rays had to say:

 

And here are a couple reactions from two very smart people:

 

 

Something is amiss in Tampa Bay that caused a general manager who was seemingly happy to stay in place to suddenly bolt for the big time in LA. Then again, LA also offered Friedman $35MM so you don't exactly say no to a massive pay raise. But what about Maddon, who stated almost immediately after Friedman left that he would stick around? What changed his mind? Is there something amiss with the Tampa Bay system (player development, personnel, differences in philosophy) that made Maddon suddenly realize that he was in a bad situation? I can't even begin to speculate on what went wrong, but it seems apparent that the Rays are going to be in some turmoil for the forseeable future.

This also triggered some among Cubs Twitter to clamor for Theo Epstein to hire Joe Maddon immediately...except for the fact that we currently have a manager in the form of Rick Renteria. Renteria may not be a tactical genius (yet) but he did get the Cubs to improve on their previous season records and got the most out of his two core All-Stars and an inexperienced group of prospects. While hiring Joe Maddon does seem like a no-brainer, it's far more complicated than that, considering that the Cubs just had to hire a new hitting coach after Bill Mueller left, and also would have to explain to the organization why they got rid of a manager who everyone liked and who was also getting improved results.

It is too early to guess where Maddon ends up, but I'm going to wager it won't be with the Cubs.  What's more important, though, is how this will affect the Rays and the potential trade market this offseason.
Update:


Well I guess we can cancel those fleeting hopes now. -dabynsky

Update: Boy was Rice Wrong

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  • 1. Maybe with the Shields trade, being in probably the most competitive division (except for NYY and Bos stinking this year), and the team not getting any fan support, he decided there wasn't any upside.

    2. Renteria isn't the long term answer, and not having a hitting coach would give Maddon the opportunity to bring in his own people. The only question would be whether his contract, which you say runs for another year, precludes him from seeking other offers (sort of like Girardi sitting out a year and working for Fox). The difference, of course, was that Joe G. was sacked by the "genius owner" in Fla.

  • I have to modify the above, in that later reports indicate that Maddon exercised an unqualified out option in his contract, so he is apparently free to do what he wants.

  • In reply to jack:

    It sounds like Maddon didn't even know about the clause until told by the ownership, which is when he exercised it. So I don't think the Cubs will suffer from tampering charges if the current rumors are true.

  • In reply to Rice Cube:

    The more recent, but not recent enough Cubs Den seems to summarize the situation, although there was more radio talk about "the Cubs kicking the tires on Maddon" after 6 p.m. I would agree with you, and not Arguello's source about tampering, although I do agree with the point that one doesn't exercise an out unless one's agent has some idea that there is a market elsewhere.

  • In reply to jack:

    It's Joe Maddon, of COURSE there's a market! Haha.

  • Madden! Martin! Lester!
    Madden! Martin! Lester!
    Madden! Martin! Lester!
    Madden! Martin! Lester!
    Madden! Martin! Lester!

  • In reply to Trey Mcfreakin Nut:

    How 'bout Peavy saying he's in on the deal?

    As Mully and Hanley said this morning, Jackson is good with that.

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