Maddon, who led the team to their first World Series title since 1908, will not return next season, President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein told reporters Sunday. Maddon has led the Cubs to a record of 84-77 this season, with one game remaining. The 65-year-old Maddon is officially a free agent after the Cubs missed the postseason for the first time in five years.
Maddon took over on the north side of Chicago to begin the 2015 season and immediately guided the club to an increase of 24 wins. But his best moment came the year after as he led his 103-win team to their first world title in more than 100 years, beating the Cleveland Indians in seven games. Prior to his time in the Windy City, Maddon managed the Tampa Bay Rays from 2006 to 2014, reaching the World Series with the Rays for the first time in franchise history in 2008.
The World Series win was not without controversy, as Maddon’s pitching maneuvers were scrutinized during and after the victory. Still, he’ll go down as the manager who broke the longest championship drought in professional sports history.
Maddon’s last two years in Chicago, however, were plagued by underachievement on several levels. Although the Cubs won 95 games in 2018, they lost in the NL wild card game to the Colorado Rockies, and upper management decided to hold off talks of a contract extension, challenging Maddon to be the best “version” of himself heading into 2019.
“I can’t say enough positives about what Joe has done, flat out for this organization,” Cubs pitcher Jon Lester said last week. “Up until this year we led MLB in wins (over the past four years). That’s a testament to him. We broke a 108-year curse … He should be revered as a legend in this town for a long, long time.”
He ranks fifth in franchise history in wins and managed the team to four straight playoff appearances, a franchise record.