The Chicago Cubs will part ways with their manager of the last five years in Joe Maddon, the skipper who led the Cubs to a Worlds Series title in 2016.
It’s been a tumultuous 2019 MLB season for the Chicago Cubs. Entering the year with lofty expectations, Chicago failed to qualify for the MLB postseason and now the Cubs will be looking for a new manager entering the 2020s.
According to ESPN MLB insider Jeff Passan, “Joe Maddon will not return as Chicago Cubs manager.” Joe Maddon had been with the Cubs since 2015, helping lead the club to a World Series title in his second season on the North Side in 2016. He had spent five years with the Cubs but managed the club in the last year of his deal in 2019.
The front office has made several questionable moves in recent months, resulting in the Cubs missing out on the postseason for the first time in Maddon’s tenure with Chicago beginning in 2015. Moving from Maddon has been a long time coming, but Sunday will be his last ball game as the Cubs skipper.
In an interview with FanSided‘s Mark Carman, MLB on FOX reporter Ken Rosenthal believes that Maddon will not be a free-agent manager for long. He may have grown apart from the Cubs organization, but there are certainly other teams in baseball that could use his services. Before arriving in Chicago, Maddon had tremendous success leading the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL.
Maddon has been one of the best managers in baseball in the 21st century. He is a three-time Manager of the Year (2008, 2011, 2015) and led the Rays to their first four playoff berths in franchise history, including getting the franchise to the World Series for the first time in 2008. Tampa Bay just made its first postseason berth without Maddon this season. So keep that in mind.
Maddon left Tampa Bay in 2014 to become the Cubs skipper in 2015. Chicago won over 90 games in Maddon’s first four seasons leading the team. The Cubs were a Wild Card team in 2015 and 2018 and won the NL Central in both 2016 and 2017. Keep in mind that only five teams make the postseason in each league each season.
In short, Maddon is the greatest manager in franchise history. Even in a down year in 2019, Maddon still won over 50 percent of his games. Yet, winning more than half of one’s games and being one of the top five teams in the National League 80 percent of the time just isn’t good enough for a contract extension in Chicago. Maddon will look for his new opportunity right away.
Before speaking with Rosenthal, Carman met up with former Cubs backup catcher David Ross, a former player of great intrigue with the Cubs organization. Ross played in the big leagues for 15 years predominantly with the Cubs, the Atlanta Braves and the Boston Red Sox, winning titles with Chicago in 2016 and Boston in 2013.
While it would take Ross an unbelievable opportunity to leave the ESPN booth calling games, perhaps replacing his former Cubs skipper in Maddon could be enticing enough of an offer? Ross told Carman that he did not want to see Maddon did let go and certainly is enjoying family life after retiring from baseball a few years back. Expect him to be courted as Maddon’s successor.
Until the Cubs name a new manager, expect Ross to be in consideration for the role, or until he removes his name from consideration himself. Ross might eventually be a great skipper, but it is a known commodity that Maddon is one of the best in baseball. Look for him to turn a struggling team like the San Diego Padres into an NL West powerhouse in the 2020s. Best of luck, Cubs.