UPDATE 6:38 PM – Maddon’s agent Alan Nero:
UPDATE 6:26 PM – Renteria’s agent Ken Solomon: “Nothing has changed since Rick’s statement”.
UPDATE 6:12 PM – Joel Sherman is confirming the CBS report that the Cubs have reached an agreement with Joe Maddon.
The wait is over – at least according to one report. According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Chicago Cubs will hire former Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon as its next skipper.
According to a CBS Sports report earlier in the afternoon, Chicago’s manager Rick Renteria had been informed of the team’s interest in Maddon, but neither Theo Epstein, the Cubs’ president of baseball operations, nor general manager Jed Hoyer, had offered any public statement on the team’s pursuit of the 60-year-old since he became a free agent after opting out of his deal with Tampa Bay last week.
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The timing of the news is somewhat surprising given Commissioner Bud Selig’s insistence that major news not break during the World Series, as the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants are set to play a winner-take-all Game 7 tonight in KC, but throughout the series, rumors have been swirling around Maddon and the Cubs. Other reports since Heyman broke the story have questioned its accuracy, although that could be attributed to the fact that, as mentioned, the World Series concludes tonight. Regardless, several Chicago beat writers are yet to confirm the deal is done, although some say it is very close to done.
According to Heyman, virtually everyone he had talked to of late believed it was just a matter of time before the two sides agreed to terms.
"Rival executives almost to a man have said from the time Maddox left Tampa Bay they expect him to wind up with the Cubs. One rival GM went so far as to say he’d be “shocked” if Maddon didn’t end up on the North Side of Chicago"
During his time in Tampa Bay, Maddon led the team’s turnaround, which began with a World Series appearance back in 2008 and included numerous runs at the American League East title. During his big league managerial career, he has a 781-729 record. No details of the deal have yet been confirmed, but recently, it was rumored Maddon was seeking approximately $5 million annually, a hefty raise from the roughly $2 million he earned each year under his deal with the Rays.