MLB opened a tampering investigation in November, following Maddon's departure from the Tampa Bay Rays. Maddon exercised an opt-out clause in his contract triggered by the departure of Rays vice president Andrew Friedman. Maddon opted out of his contract with the Rays on Oct. 23 and was announced as the Cubs' new manager on Oct. 31.
MLB was investigating whether Chicago had contacted Maddon before he opted out. League rules prevent clubs from having contact with other teams' personnel. If the Cubs had violated those rules they could have owed the Rays compensation, in the form of a player, draft pick or monetary considerations.
Cubs president Theo Epstein was adamant from the beginning that no tampering occurred. "We welcome the MLB investigation," Epstein said in November, according to the Chicago Tribune. "As we said last week, there's no tampering whatsoever, and I'd rather they investigate so we can clear our names and get this over and move on from this quickly. We're giving our full cooperation."
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in February that the tampering investigation would conclude before the start of the regular season.
- Dan Gartland