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.