Major League Baseball has launched an investigation into the Chicago Cubs’s hiring of former Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon. A request from the Rays prompted the investigation. The team contends that the Cubs had made their intention to hire Maddon known to him the Rays still employed him.
Rule 3(K) of the MLB rulebook forbids teams from talking to personnel still under contract with another team. Maddon’s contract with the Rays permitted him to leave if any major Rays official left, and Maddon departed after general manager Andrew Friedman bolted to become the president of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
There had been ongoing negotiations between Maddon and the Rays; he had one year left on his contract at what is rumored to be $2 million. Maddon wanted a three-year deal for $12 million, $3 million for the first year, followed by $4 million and $5 million the next two seasons. The Rays countered with three years at $9 million, but that’s as far as the process went. Maddon eventually got a five-year, $25 million contract with the Cubs.
Maddon and his agent, Alan Nero, along with the Cubs, all claim that Maddon’s hiring was not discussed until October 23, the day Maddon left the Rays. Theo Epstein, president of the Cubs, said last month that the Cubs only contacted Maddon on October 23 and promptly called the MLB Commissioner’s office to certify that Maddon had indeed left the Rays.
If the Cubs tampered with Maddon, they will have to cough up compensation, possibly comprised of draft picks, a player, or cash. If a Cubs official lied to investigators, a suspension could be issued.
Nero and Rays general manager Matt Silverman, both attending the general manager meetings in Phoenix, had no comment.