Fla. - Joe Maddon's highly successful run as manager of the
Tampa Bay Rays is over.
discussions on a new deal bogged down with the Rays, Maddon is
now free to listen to offers from any club — a prospect the
manager apparently found too difficult to resist.
announced Friday that Maddon had exercised an opt-out clause in
his contract. The Rays had expected to have him in their dugout
at least through 2015, when his contract was due expire.
turning the page to begin a process to look for a new
manager," Rays president of baseball operations Matt
Silverman said. "It's going to be a deliberate and
comprehensive search, including both internal and external
the Rays for nine seasons, compiling a 754-705 record. Tampa Bay
made the playoffs four times, won two AL East titles and
appeared in the 2008 World Series.
He did not
immediately return a telephone message from The Associated
did tell the Tampa Bay Times that leaving the Rays after nine
seasons was a gut-wrenching decision.
been doing this for a long time," Maddon told the
newspaper. "I have never had this opportunity to research
my employment on my terms. Never, never, never. And I think
anybody given the same set of circumstances would do the same
is second major loss for the team in less than two weeks.
Executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman
left for the Los Angeles Dodgers on Oct. 14.
assembled the teams that Maddon guided in transforming the Rays
from perennial losers into a club that had six consecutive
winning seasons before finishing 77-85 this year.
lot of work to be done this offseason, and this certainly adds
to all that's on our plate," Silverman said.
time we went looking for a manager was nine years ago and we did
a pretty good job finding Joe," Silverman added.
"There's no timetable. It will take us as long as we need
to get the right guy. There's no shortcuts here."
took over for Friedman after serving as team president for a
decade, said Maddon's contract contained a clause that allowed
to opt-out under certain conditions, including Friedman leaving
raised immediate questions about whether he might try to lure
Maddon to the Dodgers when the manager's contract expired after
last week that Don Mattingly will remain in Los Angeles to
manage the Dodgers in 2015.
that stance Friday after learning Maddon had become available
earlier than anticipated.
"As I said
last week, Joe and I enjoyed a tremendous relationship working
together in Tampa Bay and I wish him nothing but the best
wherever his next stop will be," Friedman said in a
statement. " However, nothing has changed on our end. Don
Mattingly will be our manager next season and hopefully for a
long time to come."
described himself as "surprised" and
"disappointed" by Maddon's decision, adding he and
Sternberg were optimistic about the chances of retaining the
manager when talks began.
Joe wanted to be the manager of the Rays long term. That was my
intention and Stu's intention. We dove head-first into
discussions, but it takes two parties to reach an
agreement," Silverman said.
comfortable with the financial offers that we made Joe. They
were very generous," Silverman added. "He listened to
those and chose to opt-out."