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- Joe Maddon is about to become 54th manager in Cubs history.
- Maddon opted out of his contract with the Rays earlier this month.
- CBS Sports first reported the news of him becoming Cubs manager.
CBS Sports reported on Oct. 29 that the Chicago Cubs are on the verge of hiring former Tampa Bay Rays skipper Joe Maddon as their new manager.
“Joe Maddon is about to become the new manager of the Cubs, sources tell CBSSports.com.
“Maddon and the Cubs are on the verge of agreeing to a mega deal, according to people familiar with the situation.
“The Cubs and agent Alan Nero denied that a deal is done, but people familiar with the dealings say that it is certain to be completed in coming days, and that Maddon would indeed be the next Cubs manager.
“The contract, once finalized, is expected to make Maddon one of the highest-paid managers in baseball and quite likely the best-paid in the National League. Mike Scioscia‘s (Los Angeles) Angels deal pays him $5 million annually, so he sets the standard. It is believed Maddon was looking for $5 million-plus per year, but the exact terms are not known.
“Nero said a few days ago that as many as 10 teams were showing interest in Maddon, for jobs ranging from chief baseball officer (the Tony La Russa job) on down. But Maddon apparently preferred to manage, and the Cubs emerged as the perfect fit.
“Cubs president Theo Epstein has long been an admirer of Maddon, according to people close to the team. The Cubs intend to make a big splash in free agency, and this represents a huge start.
“Current Cubs manager Rick Renteria was told the team was exploring the possibility of hiring Maddon, who became a free agent after recently opting out of his Rays deal. Team bosses wanted to make sure to keep Renteria apprised, as they had no intention of making a switch after Renteria did a fine job as a rookie manager in Chicago this year.”
The Chicago Tribune’s Mark Gonzales also reported on the development on Oct. 29:
“But a source believed that the finalizing of an agreement could occur soon. There are plenty of factors to sort out since Maddon exercised an opt-out clause in his contract last Friday, and Maddon is in demand by several teams and media outlets.
“Renteria, 52, has two years left on his contract, and Cubs officials said Renteria would return for the 2015 season after praising his work with the young players, particularly Anthony Rizzon and Starlin Castro.
“The Cubs’ coaching staff currently has one opening, and the Ray’s coaching staff is under contract for next season. It’s uncertain whether that landscape would change. The Cubs think highly of pitching coach Dave Bosio, who joined the staff in 2012 with former manager Dale Sveum. Assistant hitting coach Eric Hinske played for Maddon in 2008 and hit 20 home runs and drove in 60 runs.
“Hitting coach John Mallee and first base coach Doug Dascenzo were hired three weeks ago with the assumption they would work under Renteria.
“Also, there is the possibility that the Rays could file a tampering charge against the Cubs.
“‘Nothing’s changed since Rick’s statement,’ said Ken Solomon, Renteria’s agent, in regards to the CBS report. The statement indicated that Renteria was committed to helping the Cubs win a championship.
“Maddon would replace Rick Renteria, who had two years left on his contract after completing a 73-89 season with a stripped-down roster fileld by inexperienced marquee talent.
“The marraige of Maddon, who became a free agent on Oct. 24 after exercising an opt-out clause in his Rays contract, and the Cubs would occur at an important time for both parties.
“If hired, Maddon would become the 54th manager in Cubs history, inherits a team seeking to challenge for a National League Central title after three consecutive seasons of midseason trades to acquire younger talent under President Theo Epstein’s long-term mission of sustained success.”
The 60-year-old Maddon has amassed a 754-709 (.529) managerial record in 11 seasons with the then-California/Anaheim Angels and Tampa Bay Rays, per Baseball-Reference.com.