MLB : Cubs sack manager Renteria, set to hire Maddon

MLB : Cubs sack manager Renteria, set to hire Maddon

The Chicago Cubs sacked manager Rick Renteria on Friday and then wasted no time confirming their pursuit of Joe Maddon.

The Rays announced last week that Maddon had exercised an opt-out in his contract, which was due to expire after next season. Owner Stuart Sternberg said in a statement last week that the team “tried diligently and aggressively to sign Joe to a third contract extension prior to his decision.”

Maddon had managed the Rays for nine seasons, compiling a 754-705 record. He led Tampa Bay to the playoffs four times, won two AL East titles and made one World Series appearance.

The decision comes less than two weeks after Tampa Bay lost executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Friedman 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.

Cubs general manager Theo Epstein said his team chased and signed Maddon because he “may be as well suited as anyone in the industry to manage the challenges that lie ahead of us,” AP reported.

Epstein also expressed sympathy for the dismissed Renteria, but said he has an obligation to be loyal to the organization, AP reported.
In his lone season as manager, Renteria did a solid job, leading a young team that also traded away two of its top pitchers midseason on the way to a 73-89 record. Youngsters Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo also saw growth under Renteria, AP reported.

Renteria was working on a three-year contract with the Cubs, who will honor the remainder of it.

Renteria was offered another position with the Cubs but declined it, according to reports.