Maddon's Agent Optimistic Extension Will Be Reached

"This will all be settled in the next few months," Alan Nero says.

Bernstein & McKnight Show
October 17, 2018 - 11:55 am
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(670 The Score) The agent of Cubs manager Joe Maddon is "optimistic" that a contract extension will be reached to keep Maddon with the organization beyond 2019. 

He just doesn't know when that deal be agreed upon.

Maddon's contract status and future will be discussed with Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein at some point this offseason, agent Alan Nero said on the Bernstein & McKnight Show on 670 The Score on Wednesday morning.

"It's going to depend an awful lot on all of other things that are on Theo's plate prior to us sitting down and having some discussions," Nero said. "But I am optimistic."

Maddon is due $6 million in 2019, the the final season of a five-year deal that he signed in November 2014. To this point, the sides have held no extension talks, but Nero responded "absolutely" when asked if he'll have an "active effort" in reaching out to the Cubs to come to terms on an extension this offseason.

Nero also emphasized that there's a long offseason ahead for that to get done. 

"This will all happen in due time," Nero said. "There will be several venues where it will be appropriate for us to sit and talk about it, such as the GM meetings, which will be held in November, and the Winter Meetings, which will be held in December. There's no sense of urgency. Joe and Theo have a great relationship. They're going to continue to try to make the decisions that are going to make this team better. There's no sense of urgency on our part, and so this (speculation and worry) is all coming from the media. It's not coming from Joe or Theo. This will all happen in due course.

"What's the big deal? This will all be settled in the next few months, and we'll be having a different conversation."

Asked what "settled" meant, Nero responded, "One way or the other -- to me, I don't think there's an issue."

"I think Theo and Joe will sit down and we'll get in there and we'll do what has to be done to get an extension," Nero said.

Nero was also asked if Maddon would be willing to push back negotiations into the 2019 season if it comes to that.

"I'm willing to do whatever is best for Joe," Nero said. "We'll see."

Nero added he has met with Epstein and knows from that discussion that "there's no rift, there's no problem" between Maddon and the organization.

It's unusual for a manager to have a lame-duck status entering a season, especially for someone as successful as Maddon. The Cubs have gone 387-261 (.597) and reached the playoffs in each of the four years with Maddon leading the way. The accomplishments include two National League Central crowns, three NL Championship Series appearances and a World Series championship in 2016.

Despite those achievements, Maddon has long encountered external criticism during his Chicago tenure. Even after winning the World Series, Maddon was scrutinized for some questionable in-game decisions in the final two games of the series. 

Maddon did some of his best work in 2018 in leading the Cubs to 95 wins while being hampered by serious injuries to the likes of third baseman Kris Bryant, right-hander Yu Darvish and closer Brandon Morrow, but the team faltered down the stretch. The Brewers erased a five-game deficit in early September to rally for the NL Central title, then the Cubs lost to the Rockies in the wild-card round, leading most to believe that there will be a shakeup of some sort in the roster this offseason.

In his season-ending news conference, Epstein stressed the need for more urgency on a daily basis for the entirety of the season, an approach that in some ways is contradictory to the easygoing, calm style of Maddon. Nero downplayed any worries about that being a problem. 

"Joe and Theo are not going to have a lot of a problem being on the same page," Nero said. "And Joe's very smart, and Theo's very smart. I don't think Joe is going to disagree with Theo on very much. I think we need to let them do their jobs and let's sit back and enjoy it. I think Joe's going to be very open to anything that will make them better."