The Los Angeles Dodgers made a first big splash when they hired Andrew Friedman as president of baseball operations. Considering the working relationship and friendship Friedman holds with Joe Maddon, a widespread presumption was he was next to leave the Tampa Bay Rays.
One week after Friedman’s comments, Maddon opted out of the final year of his contract with the Rays, which again stirred up speculation he eventually would find himself in the home dugout at Chavez Ravine.
The Chicago Cubs have also been mentioned as destination for Maddon, who when asked about the possibility of managing in the Windy City by FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, said he needed to hear from everyone:
I have to talk to people. I have interest everywhere right now. I’ve got to hear what everyone has to say.”
Maddon also told Rosenthal he was unaware of the opt-out clause in his contract and was notified by Rays’ president of baseball operations, Matthew Silverman. Maddon added that he hopes to manage in 2015 but is open to another position if necessary:
I’d love to manage. If the right opportunity does not present itself, I would want to work. But I would hope it would be a managing position. If not, there are other things I can do that would make me an even better manager when I get the opportunity again.”
In the wake of Friday’s news, Friedman reiterated Mattingly would return in 2015 and hopefully longer. Mattingly has two years remaining on his contract and by all accounts front office support. Friedman said he spoke with the Dodgers’ manager and was looking forward to working together, which was a sentiment Mattingly later echoed.
While Friedman has publicly supported Mattingly, the belief or threat of Maddon becoming the Dodgers’ manager likely won’t truly subside until he assumes another job or replaces Mattingly.