UPDATE 5:20 pm
The Cubs will formally announce Joe Maddon at a press conference at the Cubby Bear due to the construction at Wrigley Field.
In a coinciding story, the owner of the Cubby Bear George Loukas is near a deal to sell his rooftops to Ricketts LLC. Hmmm..very coincidental indeed. Sell rooftop, get huge press event. Good business all around.
UPDATE 4:12 pm In a extraordinary statement, the Chicago Cubs announced the firing of Rick Renteria, in order to pursue the recently available Joe Maddon. Theo Epstein admitted that Renteria deserved to come back for another year. Referencing the statements the Cubs had made in the past few weeks were made in “good faith”. On Thursday, upon hearing on the availability of Maddon, the team contacted MLB to verify. It was then they alerted Renteria on the possibility of speaking with Maddon. The Cubs say they kept Renteria apprised of the situation via telephone. Last Friday Jed Hoyer flew to San Diego to inform Renteria they would be making a change. Renteria, as I speculated before the firing, was offered other positions within the organization. The announcement resulted in Gary Jones not returning to the Cubs, as he was hired by Renteria.
There has been no official announcement of the signing of Maddon, but there is speculation it will be coming very soon.
There also lies the chance that the Rays could be entitled to compensation, should MLB find the Cubs tampered with Maddon before he officially opted out of his contract.
The Chicago Cubs have fired manager Rick Renteria after only one season as their manager. Theo Epstein issued the following statement:
"Today we made the difficult decision to replace Rick Renteria as manager of the Chicago Cubs. On behalf of Tom Ricketts and Jed Hoyer, I thank Rick for his dedication and commitment, and for making the Cubs a better organization.Rick’s sterling reputation should only be enhanced by his season as Cubs manager. We challenged Rick to create an environment in which our young players could develop and thrive at the big league level, and he succeeded. Working with the youngest team in the league and an imperfect roster, Rick had the club playing hard and improving throughout the season. His passion, character, optimism and work ethic showed up every single day.Rick deserved to come back for another season as Cubs manager, and we said as much when we announced that he would be returning in 2015. We met with Rick two weeks ago for a long end-of-season evaluation and discussed plans for next season. We praised Rick to the media and to our season ticket holders. These actions were made in good faith.Last Thursday, we learned that Joe Maddon – who may be as well suited as anyone in the industry to manage the challenges that lie ahead of us – had become a free agent. We confirmed the news with Major League Baseball, and it became public knowledge the next day. We saw it as a unique opportunity and faced a clear dilemma: be loyal to Rick or be loyal to the organization. In this business of trying to win a world championship for the first time in 107 years, the organization has priority over any one individual. We decided to pursue Joe.While there was no clear playbook for how to handle this type of situation, we knew we had to be transparent with Rick before engaging with Joe. Jed flew to San Diego last Friday and told Rick in person of our intention to talk to Joe about the managerial job. Subsequently, Jed and I provided updates to Rick via telephone and today informed him that we will indeed make a change.We offered Rick a choice of other positions with the Cubs, but he is of course free to leave the organization and pursue opportunities elsewhere. Armed with the experience of a successful season and all the qualities that made him our choice a year ago, Rick will no doubt make an excellent major league manager when given his next chance.Rick often said he was the beneficiary of the hard work of others who came before him. Now, in the young players he helped, we reap the benefits of his hard work as we move forward. He deserved better and we wish him nothing but the best.We have clung to two important ideals during our three years in Chicago. The first is to always be loyal to our mission of building the Cubs into a championship organization that can sustain success. The second is to be transparent with our fans. As painful as the last week was at times, we believe we stayed true to these two ideals in handling a sensitive situation. To our fans: we hope you understand, and we appreciate your continued support of the Cubs."
We will continue to update the story as details become available. Continue to follow us for all thee updates on this breaking news.