Alan Nero, Joe Maddon’s agent, has been on the offensive the past couple days trying to play down any perceived tension between his client and the Cubs, while remaining hopeful for a contract extension.

Maddon, who’s the oldest manager in MLB and has one year left on his deal with the Cubs, doesn’t have a contract beyond 2019. His job security came into question late during the 2018 season, as the Cubs blew a division lead and then couldn’t advance to the NLDS after losing the Wild Card Game to the Rockies.

There were several articles written by local and national media, questioning whether the Cubs wanted Maddon to return in 2019, and speculating if Maddon and Theo Epstein were no longer on the same page.

At his lengthy press conference after the Cubs season ended, Epstein made it clear that there was no problem between him and Maddon, saying that while they don’t always agree on things they have a good relationship.

Yet, there is the issue of Maddon entering the 2019 season as a lame-duck manager, which is rare but maybe not with his big salary and age.

Anyway, since the Cubs were eliminated, the speculation about Maddon’s future with the team has only grown and will only get bigger as the days pass without any resolution beyond next season.

Maddon’s agent is going on the offensive, saying all the negativity about Maddon was started by the media.

Via the Chicago Tribune.

But Epstein’s recent criticism of Maddon’s revolving lineups and his belief a lame-duck season in 2019 wouldn’t become a distraction suggest an encore for Maddon isn’t the slam dunk one might have presumed.

Nero insisted it was much ado about nothing, blaming the media for creating a false narrative.

“Joe never had a problem with any of this,” he said. “Never. He was very comfortable. He was very relaxed. He wasn’t thinking about it. He wasn’t worried about it. You guys fired everything up.”

Nero continued, reiterating that there are no issues between Maddon and Epstein. He went on 670 The Score on Wednesday morning and said he was optimistic about a contract extension happening in the next couple months.

I know this is completely different, especially when you consider where the team was positioned at the end of the 2016, but the Cubs didn’t give Epstein and the rest of the front office a contract extension until the end of the regular season that year.

So, who knows, maybe this won’t be a big deal after all and the Cubs sign Maddon to a mini-extension during the GM meetings. But of course this is going to be a topic of conversation in the offseason when Maddon is still positioned as a lame-duck manager as of now for next year.