Friday, October 24, 2014
JOE MADDON OPTS OUT. LEAVES TAMPA BAY IMMEDIATELY
The biggest free agent on the market this off season may not be a player, but a 60 year-old-manager.
Tampa Bay Rays skipper Joe Maddon has decided to opt-out of his contract and enter the free agency market, thus abruptly ending his tenure with the Rays. His contract was set to expire after the 2015 season.
Maddon’s departure comes just 10 days after the Dodgers hired former Rays’ exec Andrew Friedman as their president of baseball operations—causing speculation that Maddon may replace Don Mattingly in the dugout. But Friedman was quick to comment that Mattingly is “definitely” not going anywhere. So it appears Maddon will not be making his way to Los Angeles.
In a statement to the press, Rays' owner Stuart Sternberg said that the team “tried diligently and aggressively to sign Joe to a third contract extension prior to his decision.”
Maddon told the Tampa Bay Times that his decision to leave was due to a “combination of financial issues and curiosity over what opportunities will present themselves.” He doesn’t have any job offers lined up yet, but his record with the Rays could make him a hot commodity on the free agency market.
Currently, the Minnesota Twins are the only team without a manager position filled, but with such a successful manager available for the get, some team will reshuffle the deck to get him a position.
--Alexis Garcia, BYB's "Eye on MLB" Columnist
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