Joe Maddon, in his own words from December, will be a free agent following the 2019 season, but that doesn’t mean he wants to leave the Cubs. As a matter of fact, Maddon sounds as confident as ever that he’ll return to the North Side and be the manager for at least a couple more years.
Despite being the most successful manager in franchise history, Maddon deals with a good amount of criticism and more attention was brought to his job security after the front office pushed off any contract talks until the end of 2019 season at the earliest.
Yet, even with the lame duck status, Maddon’s confident about returning to the Cubs in 2020.
And the accomplished manager expressed that his optimism remains high that the Cubs will re-sign him when the time comes to make that call.
“It’s very high, yeah,” Maddon said. “Very high. Very, very high. I’m operating in that I believe we’ll be together for a couple more years at least.”
The Cubs are once again atop the division with less than two months before the end of the regular season, but Maddon doesn’t believe a new contract will only be about wins and losses. If it was, he would already have a new deal after four straight postseason appearances, including three NLCS trips and a World Series title.
“It’s about the ability to work together,” Maddon said. “For me, too. Understand [that] I want to be somewhere where I want to work, too, and that I enjoy the exchange, which I do. Everything about what we do at the Cubs and where we do it at is — you can’t beat it. It’s impossible to beat it on every level. So that’s the allure for me.”
Maddon loves working for the Cubs and we’ll see if the front office reciprocates those feelings after 2019.
I just can’t see the Cubs cutting Maddon loose unless there’s some terrible collapse down the stretch. Signing him to a two-year deal still makes the most sense, as it would align with the core of the Cubs roster.
But we’ll see if Maddon’s message still resonates with this team.