MLB investigating the Chicago Cubs for tampering in Joe Maddon hire


Unless the Tampa Bay Rays know something we don’t, this investigation of the Chicago Cubs could leave them looking foolish, like a bitter ex in a divorce. Both parties, Joe Maddon and the Cubs, were contacted by the MLB to make them aware the investigation into tampering would proceed. All sides have adamantly denied the allegations, and welcomed the probe.

The Cubs Theo Epstein laid out a very detailed timeline of how the Maddon hire took place, even attaining information from the commissioner’s office before even speaking with Maddon’s agent Alan Nero. Nero has called it “embarrassing”, and welcomed the investigation as well.

"“[Cubs president] Theo [Epstein] would not even have talked unless he got clearance from the commissioner’s office,” Nero said recently. “It’s silly to suggest [tampering]. If they want to pursue that, that’s fine.” h/t Jesse Rogers,"

The Cubs and Nero have stood by their previous statements, and really only seem to be making any sort of comment due to being pressed by the media, according to Epstein.

"“It’s just wholly inaccurate,” Epstein said at the time. “There’s nothing to it. If we keep seeing stuff in print, then we’re going to respond at some point. For now, we’ll just take it day by day. But there was absolutely no tampering whatsoever.”"

It’s been reported that the Rays offered Maddon a three-year deal at $9 million, after he had asked for a three-year deal at $12 million. The Rays say a counter-offer was never received, as Maddon decided to opt-out of his contract.

If Maddon asked for that, and the Rays didn’t offer, why would Maddon stay? He doesn’t need another club to offer him something to know he had more value than that. The Rays have some bitterness, but this bit of drama is a no-lose situation for them. Should the MLB investigators–the same that investigated the BioGenesis scandal and Alex Rodriguez–find the Cubs lied, the Rays may be entitled to players, cash, or draft pick compensation. If not, they lose nothing and carry-on with their business.

The idea seems silly that the Rays think they have any grounds here, but with nothing to lose the Cubs will just have to deal with the Rays tantrum and then move on.