Article

Maddon will return to Cubs in 2019, but no extension talks yet

October 3 2018 11:41 PM

Joe Maddon's Chicago Cubs are already done in the playoffs after entering the final two days of the regular season with the best record in the National League, but the swift collapse will not cost the manager his job.

Maddon will return in 2019 for the final season of his five-year, $28million contract, president of baseball operations Theo Epstein confirmed to reporters on Wednesday.

He added that there have been no talks about a contract extension.

"Joe's status remains unchanged," Epstein said. "I'm very happy about that."

Those revelations are not a huge surprise, but some had questioned Maddon's status given the Cubs' abrupt exit from the postseason and rumours of potential friction with Epstein.

The latter pushed back on that notion, saying the pair have a "terrific working relationship" and adding that he does not want a "yes man" as his manager anyway.

One other factor in some speculation that Maddon might not return is the Los Angeles Angels' current managerial vacancy.

Mike Scioscia stepped down on Sunday after 19 years at the helm, and the last man to manage the Angels before him was Maddon, who was at the helm for the final 29 games of the 1999 season after Terry Collins was fired.

Maddon spent 31 years as a player, scout, minor-league manager and coach in the Angels organisation before the Rays named him their manager ahead of the 2006 season.

Maddon jumped to the big-budget Cubs in November 2014 and has led the team to sustained success not seen in Wrigleyville in a century. The Cubs have won at least 92 regular-season games and made the playoffs in each of Maddon's four seasons, finally ending their 108-year World Series title drought in 2016. The team had reached 92 wins in a season only once in the 25 years before Maddon's arrival.

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