Report: Cubs hire Joe Maddon as manager

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Joe Maddon opted out of his contract with the Rays with one season remaining and now Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that he’s agreed to a deal to become the Cubs’ new manager.

Chicago technically has a manager under contract in Rick Renteria, who was hired last offseason, but Maddon’s track record in Tampa Bay was apparently enough to convince president Theo Eptein and general manager Jed Hoyer to make a change.

No word yet on the money involved, but several reports had Maddon seeking a five-year, $25 million contract. An official announcement likely wouldn’t be made until after the World Series, as MLB frowns on that.

Maddon had a .517 winning percentage in nine seasons as Rays manager, including 90-plus wins in five of the last seven seasons and an overall winning percentage of .552 during that seven-year span. He leaves Tampa Bay following a disappointing 77-85 season and with the organization in a state of flux thanks to a weakened farm system and Andrew Friedman’s move to the Dodgers.

UPDATE: Several local Chicago reporters, plus Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, are all reporting that no deal is done even if the two sides are likely to wind up together. Whether that’s the Cubs being told to hold off on anything official or Heyman jumping the gun is unclear.

Mets claim Sam Coonrod off waivers from Phillies

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — The active New York Mets added another newcomer to their bullpen mix when they claimed reliever Sam Coonrod off waivers from the NL East rival Philadelphia Phillies.

Coonrod had a 7.82 ERA in 12 appearances covering 12 2/3 innings last year for the National League champions. The right-hander is 7-5 with a 5.27 ERA and five saves in 105 games over four major league seasons with San Francisco and Philadelphia. He has struck out 95 and walked 44 in 97 1/3 innings.

The 30-year-old Coonrod was designated for assignment by the Phillies last week when they signed free agent infielder Josh Harrison.

To make room on the 40-man roster, outfielder Khalil Lee was designated for assignment by the Mets.