Cubs Won't Consider Contract Extension for Joe Maddon Until 2019 Season

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistNovember 6, 2018

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 30: Joe Maddon #70 of the Chicago Cubs walks in the dugout against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field on September 30, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Andrew Weber/Getty Images)
Andrew Weber/Getty Images

Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein told reporters Monday that manager Joe Maddon was informed the team wouldn't be discussing a contract extension this winter and "will re-evaluate the situation later in the 2019 season," according to Patrick Mooney of The Athletic.

Maddon is under contract through the 2019 campaign.

Monday's announcement doesn't come as a huge surprise. In early October, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported that "for months talk has persisted within the industry that Epstein and Maddon are not always on the same page."

Epstein did deny that report two weeks later, however.

"I didn't read the whole thing," he said at the time, per Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. "But I saw in there that there were some claims that he and I had personal friction. Not true at all. We have a terrific working relationship."

Also in early October, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that Maddon wouldn't be offered a contract extension this winter and would be evaluated after the 2019 season, despite Maddon hoping for an extension.

All of that smoke turned out to be a fire. 

That doesn't mean that Maddon won't ultimately be retained. Under his watch, the Cubs have gone 387-261, reached the postseason in four straight years and won the World Series in 2016. Maddon has led one of the most successful periods in franchise history and ended the team's legendary World Series drought.

But the 2018 season ended in disappointment, as the team blew a five-game lead in the NL Central in September, lost the divisional tiebreaker game to the Milwaukee Brewers and were one-and-done in the postseason, losing the Wild Card Game to the Colorado Rockies. That end to the season has led to questions about Maddon's future in Chicago, questions that won't be answered until some point in 2019.