Joel Sherman reported that Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon has opted out of his contract with the Rays on Saturday afternoon. Maddon had one year remaining on his contract in Tampa Bay, and the veteran manager had been reported to be staying in Tampa originally.
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Now the rumors are swirling that the Dodgers are going to bring Maddon in to replace Don Mattingly. But don’t get your hopes up. According to the reports, Mattingly will manage the Dodgers in 2015. Not only that, but Donnie Baseball is under contract, and has been buttering up Andrew Friedman for the last week or so now. He knows he is on the hot seat for failing to guide the Dodgers past the first round of the playoffs this season. Not to mention his failure to bring a World Series championship to Dodger Stadium during his four years as skipper.
Sherman reports that Maddon will manage a club this season and is looking for a long term deal with something in the range of 5 million dollars per season, or possibly a five-year deal worth 25 million dollars. Maddon felt like the Rays were not going to be able to commit the amount of money to him that he was looking for, and at his age felt like this was his last chance to test the free agent market. Rays President of Baseball Operations told Maddon of his ability to opt out of his contract, as Maddon was unaware. There was a two week opt out window, and Maddon exercised it before the clock ran out.
The thing is, there are very few managerial vacancies right now in MLB. Rumors are that the Cubs are the leading candidates to land Maddon. The Twins could possibly be in play as well.
The Dodgers just recently hired former Tampa Bay GM Andrew Friedman as their new President of Baseball Operations, removing Ned Colletti from his GM position that he had held for nine seasons. Since that happened people have been speculating that Friedman would bring over more people from Tampa Bay into the Dodger front office, including Joe Maddon.
As the speculations begin to heat up, 2015 could be Don Mattingly’s make or break season, but it appears his job is safe for the time being. Or is it?
The Dodgers are finally sweeping away the last of the McCourt era losers, and Mattingly remains the final piece yet to be canned.