Joe Maddon opts out of contract early, leaves Rays
0:58 | MLB
Joe Maddon opts out of contract early, leaves Rays
Friday October 24th, 2014

Los Angeles Dodgers president Andrew Friedman reiterated Friday that Don Mattingly will return as manager next season.

Friedman initially said last week that Mattingly would remain the team's manager in 2015 amid speculation he would replace Mattingly with Joe Maddon, Friedman's manager with the Tampa Bay Rays. That speculation was renewed on Friday when Maddon left the Rays to pursue other opportunities.

Friedman, who was vice president of baseball operations and general manager with Tampa Bay from 2005 until last week, released the following statement after the news of Maddon's departure.

"As I said last week, Joe and I enjoyed a tremendous relationship working in Tampa Bay and I wish him nothing but the best wherever his next stop will be. However, nothing has changed on our end. Don Mattingly will be our manager next season and hopefully for a long time to come."

CORCORAN: What's next for Maddon after leaving Rays?

When Friedman left for the Dodgers last week, Maddon refuted speculation he would follow, saying "I'm a Ray and I'm going to be with the Rays and I'm hoping to be with them for a long time."

After his own departure Friday, Maddon reiterated that he had no other job lined up. The Minnesota Twins are currently the only MLB team with a managerial opening. and they've reportedly chosen Paul Molitor, Torey Lovullo and Doug Mientkiewicz as the three finalists for the job. The Arizona Diamondbacks recently hired Chip Hale as their new manager, and the Texas Rangers recently hired Jeff Banister.

In nine years with the Rays, Maddon compiled a 754-705 record. He has won two American League manager of the year awards and took Tampa Bay to the only four playoff berths in franchise history, including a World Series appearance in 2008.

In four seasons as the Dodgers' manager, Mattingly has gone 354-293, improving the team's record each season and winning the National League West each of the past two seasons. Los Angeles advanced to the NLCS last season and was eliminated by the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS in four games this season.

•​ JAFFE: World Series Game 3 preview

Before last season, after tensions developed surrounding a perceived lack of support for Mattingly on the part of Dodgers management, the team and Mattingly agreed to a three-year contract extension. He is signed through 2016.

Ben Estes

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