After nine seasons, 754 wins, 4 playoff appearances and an American League Championship in 2008, Joe Maddon is no longer the manager of the Tampa Bay Rays. Maddon was the guiding force behind the Tampa Bay Rays' drive from perennial cellar-dwellers in the American League East to the World Series in 2008.
Here's what Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg had to say regarding Maddon's departure from the Rays.
Maddon told the Tampa Bay Times his decision was based on the financial component as well as a curiousity to see what opportunities present:
"I have been doing this for a long time,'' Maddon said. "I have never had this opportunity to research my employment on my terms. Never, never, never. And I think anybody given the same set of circumstances would do the same thing.''
He called the decision to leave the team "gut wrenching'' and said he is "almost feeling sick.''
Earlier this month, the Rays also lost General Manager Andrew Friedman to the Los Angeles Dodgers, According to Matt Silverman, Maddon had a clause in his contract that allowed him to opt-out because Friedman left the team.
Maddon’s agent, Alan Nero, tells the Times' Marc Topkin that he expects Maddon will manage a team in 2015. This fuels speculation that Maddon will be following Friedman to the west coast to manage the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Possible in-house candidates to replace Maddon include bench coach Dave Martinez and pitching coach Jim Hickey.