Joe Maddon is still without a contract for next year, so here are five potential candidates to replace him as Chicago Cubs manager.
Entering Monday, the Chicago Cubs have a two-game lead in the NL Central as they narrow on a fifth playoff appearance in as many seasons under manager Joe Maddon. But Maddon is in the final year of his contract, and there have been no reports of any contract extension talks.
Rumors of discord between Maddon and president of baseball operations Theo Epstein surfaced last fall, and Maddon himself said he has made it a point to be more open with the front office and hands-on with his players this year.
Maddon told Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com that his status as Cubs’ manager comes down to more than wins and losses, and if it could be narrowed to that he’d have had a contract extension at the end of last season. That almost feels like an ultimatum was given, and Maddon seems to have made a concerted effort to deliver.
It’s about interactions,” he said. “It’s about communication. It’s about the ability to work together. That’s what it comes down to.”
“This year I’ve taken it to a different level,” Maddon said. “I want to be somewhere where I want to work, too. Everything about what we do with the Cubs, you can’t beat it. It’s impossible to beat. That’s the allure for me.
Maddon will forever be known as the manager of the Cubs’ team that ended the World Series drought in 2016, and he has said he wants to manage until he’s at least 70 years old (he’s current 65). But until news of a new contract with the Cubs surfaces, the ice under him will seem thin.
If the two sides can’t work out a new deal and the Cubs decide to move forward, here are five candidates to replace Maddon as skipper.
5. Sandy Alomar Jr.
After his 20-year Major League career ended in 2007 and he transitioned into coaching as a catching instructor in the New York Mets organization, Sandy Alomar Jr. has been on the Cleveland Indians coaching staff as first base coach, bench coach and then back to first base coach since 2010, spanning managers Manny Acta and Terry Francona.
Alomar has been a peripheral candidate for a few managerial openings over the years, including the Cubs’ job when they eventually hired Dale Sveum after the 2011 season. He only managerial experience came as the interim skipper for the Indians in September of 2012, when Acta was fired, going 3-3 to end that season.
The Cubs would probably shoot for a bigger name with more experience if they end up replacing Maddon. But Alomar shouldn’t be dismissed as an option.