Joe Maddon’s job for 2019 was never in jeopardy, but it is starting to look like the Cubs may move on from him as the manager after next season. Maddon only has one more year left on his contract and Theo Epstein has confirmed that the team will not work out an extension this offseason.
So, Maddon will officially have a lame duck status in 2019.
Theo Epstein announces that he has informed Joe Maddon and Alan Nero, the manager's agent, that the Cubs will not discuss an extension this winter and will re-evaluate the situation later in the 2019 season.
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) November 6, 2018
After the Cubs were eliminated from the playoffs by the Rockies in the NL Wild Card Game, Epstein made sure to shoot down any rumors that the front office and Maddon were at odds. However, it’s not a great sign that the team is willing to enter 2019, with the future of the manager up in the air.
In October, Maddon’s agent Alan Nero was optimistic that the Cubs and his client would work out a deal beyond 2019.
Maddon’s agent says Maddon isn’t concerned at all about an extension. Just looking forward to next year and things will work themselves out one way or another.
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) November 6, 2018
Maddon is the only Cubs manager to lead the team to four straight playoff appearances in franchise history. The Cubs had three straight trips to the NLCS in Maddon’s first three years as manager, including winning the 2016 World Series.
One point of contention between the front office and Maddon that was reported was the handling of closer Brandon Morrow. The Cubs had a strict plan for Morrow, hoping he wouldn’t pitch on three consecutive days. That did happen in the middle of the season and later on Morrow landed on the DL with an arm injury that eventually forced the Cubs to shut him down. Morrow had a previous history of injuries and that’s why the Cubs wanted to be conservative with his use.
So, Maddon’s future after 2019 is as foggy as it’s ever been.