Joe Maddon Appears Fine With Lame-Duck Status

Maddon isn't being offered an extension as he enters the final year of his deal.

Bruce Levine
October 10, 2018 - 10:56 am
Cubs manager Joe Maddon

Jake Roth/USA Today Sports

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(670 The Score) The recent news that Cubs manager Joe Maddon won't be receiving a contract extension at this time isn't surprising from either side of the decision-making process.

Set to enter the final season of a five-year deal that he signed in November 2014, Maddon wasn't blindsided by the Cubs declining to offer an extension at this time, sources said. He's readying for business as usual as he prepares to manage the 2019 Cubs, a source added.

Maddon is set to make $6 million in 2019, which makes him the game's highest-paid manager alongside the Giants' Bruce Bochy. Many managerial hires in recent years were paid less than $1 million in 2018, a sign of the changing times in which the power resides in front offices across MLB.

From a personal standpoint, money isn't an issue for the 64-year-old Maddon, who spends little on anything other than his family and the occasional purchase of a classic car. But there still exists the matter of principle, as being compensated at the highest level is a sign of respect for those who have led teams to great achievements.

Maddon certainly fits that bill, directing the Cubs to a franchise-record four straight playoff appearances, three National League Championship Series appearances and a World Series title in 2016. Cubs executives Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer appear quite satisfied with the results of the four-year marriage with Maddon. 

Maddon is 387-261 (.597) in his Cubs tenure, which marks the most wins any manager has produced in the first four seasons of his tenure in franchise history. 

In August, Maddon suggested that seven to 10 years is the "right amount of time to do one job in one place." If that notion applies to him, a two- or three-year extension at some point would make sense for all parties involved if they remain on the same page from a baseball perspective.

Maddon's communication will the Cubs front office appears to be excellent, though they certainly disagree on some baseball matters. And a lame-duck status is nothing new for Epstein, who working on the last few weeks of his original five-year deal in late September 2016 when he agreed to a five-year extension that will pay him close to $50 million through 2021.

"There were some claims that Joe and I were having some personal friction," Epstein said last week. "That is not true. We have a terrific working relationship. We don't agree all the time about baseball issues. That is the way it should be. I don't want a yes man as the manager. I am not a yes man going the other way either. There should be discord and debate in healthy, trusting relationships where you can work together to make the organization better. I like having Joe as the manager of this team and having the most wins in baseball for the last four years. What I don't like is going home on the first day of October. But that is not on Joe. I look forward to him coming back next year. We have some unfinished business in this organization."

All marriages go through trials and tribulations. Some survive. Some don't. For now, it's worth remembering this: Neither Maddon nor the Cubs are looking for a way out of this relationship. They all want it to prosper in 2019 with greater success.

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.​