Could Joe Maddon make the Cubs a contender?
1:42 | MLB
Could Joe Maddon make the Cubs a contender?
Friday October 31st, 2014

The Chicago Cubs will introduce Joe Maddon as their next manager at a press conference on Monday, the team said Friday just hours after announcing the firing of former manager Rick Renteria.

Maddon, the former manager of the Tampa Bay Rays, exercised an out clause in his contract last Friday, leaving him free to sign with any other team. Maddon's agent said Maddon was prepared to sit out the 2015 season if necessary.

When Maddon opted out, it was speculated that he would follow longtime Rays general manager and vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who hired Friedman as their president the week before Maddon opted out. But Friedman reiterated immediately that manager Don Mattingly would return next season.

Renteria was fired by the Cubs on Friday afternoon. In a statement, Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said the team informed Renteria of Maddon's candidacy last week and told him that it is making "a change" on Friday.

Epstein had said in September that Renteria would return in 2015. Renteria said Monday that he was aware of the speculation about his position but that he was focused on his job as manager.

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

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The Cubs have finished in last place in the National League Central in each of the last two seasons but have multiple young prospects and young players prepared to make an impact on the major league roster, including Jorge SolerJavier Baez and 2014 All-Stars Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo.

- Ben Estes and Chris Johnson

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