The Cubs fired their manager Rick Renteria today, and announced they will hire Joe Maddon on Monday. Madden had served as the manager of the Tampa Bay Rays for nine season, before opting out of his contract on October 24.
Some people thought that Maddon would follow Andrew Friedman to the Dodgers. Friedman was the General Manager of the Rays, during Maddon time with the team. Friedman left the Rays after the season and accepted a job with the Dodgers, as President of Baseball Operations. Friedman said that he would keep Don Mattingly as manager and that’s when the speculation that the Cubs would go after Maddon started.
The Cubs team president Theo Epstein had this to say on firing Renteria and hiring Maddon “Last Thursday, we learned that Joe Maddon who may be as well suited as anyone in the industry to manage the challenges that lie ahead of us had become a free agent. We saw it as a unique opportunity and faced a clear dilemma: be loyal to Rick or be loyal to the organization. In this business of trying to win a world championship for the first time in 107 years, the organization has priority over any one individual. We decided to pursue Joe.”
Epstein had to say this about Renteria “Rick deserved to come back for another season as Cubs manager, and we said as much when we announced that he would be returning in 2015. We met with Rick two weeks ago for a long end-of-season evaluation and discussed plans for next season. We praised Rick to the media and to our season-ticket holders. These actions were made in good faith.”
I believe Maddon is a great manager and will do wonders for the Cubs, but I don’t know if he will lead them to a World Series. The Cubs will have to go out and find some pitching if they plan to be a contender in their division. The Cubs have a lot of money to spend and with Jon Lester and Max Scherzer available could give them a number one starter. Jake Peavy and James Shields will also be free agents and could be a good number two for the Cubs. I expect them to go out and make some major moves this offseason, now that they have one of the best managers in the game.
The Cubs are in good hands now and are just a few moves away from contending next season. It will be very interesting offseason in Chicago.
The Cubs haven’t won the World Series since 1908 and the Cubs new they had to make a splash to draw interest from their fans. Chicago has finished last in their division the past two seasons, but have talent in Addison Russell, Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, and Kris Bryant. Rizzo is the oldest out of the group and he is only 25.
The #Cubs have scheduled a 2 p.m. press conference Monday to officially announce the Joe Maddon hiring.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) October 31, 2014