When Andrew Friedman left the Tampa Bay Rays, an opt out clause was activated in Joe Maddon's contract. Surprising in that it's not a conventional measure, but not surprising if the longest tenured GM/Manager combination in baseball had a hope to work together, no matter where they went.
That said, the Dodgers are not an automatic destination for Joe Maddon. The Chicago Cubs have one more year remaining on Rick Renteria's contract, and could easily pay off the remaining salary. Andrew Friedman has already told the media he has every intention of retaining Don Mattingly in LA, though that was a week ago.
On a conference call this afternoon, new Rays GM Matt Silverman indicated that the search for the next Rays manager will be internal and external, and for the process to take a good amount of time. Qualifications for the next skipper were not immediately identified by Silverman, who never mentioned bench coach Dave Martinez or Durham coach Charlie Montoyo by name.
"Joe and I have enjoyed a great relationship for the past nine years, our conversations have always been honest and candid... I think we both understand where each is coming from."
Silverman said his and Sternberg's intention was to extend Joe Maddon long term immediately after Andrew Friedman departed, but his attitude communicated that their "generous offers" were "listened to" but not well considered.
"I can only tell you what I know, which was [Maddon's] desire to be a long time Ray... I do not think our financial offer contributed to Joe's decision... I'm a little bit surprised and disappointed by the result."
Silverman noted he had a chance to speak to a few Rays players, who reacted with surprised, but noted his team was used to "rolling with the punches."
One of his concluding statements was one of optimism: "Our best days are ahead of us," Silverman noted, "both on the field and off the field."
You can read the full transcript here.
On the radio with 620 WDAE, pitching coack Jim Hickey described the Rays as "spoiled" to have had such continuity over the past decade, and he's not wrong. "Virtually every other organization has," Hickey concluded.
Jim said his biggest lesson from working under Joe Maddon has been to "keep calm, between highs and lows," calling him "a great calming influence on the club."
On the first name that comes to mind to replace Joe Maddon, Hickey said Davey Martinez is "absolutely, positively ready" to manage the big league club, and reminded the audience he has not only paid his dues under Joe Maddon, but already earned the respect of the current clubhouse.
Hickey did not indicate whether he had intentions to leave the club, but his cordial nature on the local radio show surely helps cool the nerves.