MLB is reportedly investigating the Chicago Cubs for tampering with former Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon, the New York Post reports. Maddon opted out of his contract with the Rays on Oct. 23 and signed with the Cubs shortly after.
Maddon opted out of his contract with the Rays on Oct. 23 and signed with the Cubs last week.
According to the Post, MLB's Department of Investigations will look into whether the Cubs contacted Maddon about coming to Chicago before he had opted out of his deal with Tampa Bay. The Rays requested the investigation last week. If the Cubs are found to have tampered, it would be a violation of major league rules that prevent teams from contacting personnel under contract with other clubs. The penalty for tampering is compensation in terms of a player, draft picks and/or money. Suspensions are also on the table.
Cubs officials have denied tampering with Maddon. Cubs president Theo Epstein said in a statement last month that his club found out about Maddon's opt-out on Oct. 23 and contacted the commissioner's office to confirm. Maddon received a five-year, $25 million contract with Chicago.
Maddon left the Rays with one year remaining on his contract at what is believed to be $2 million, according to the Post. In nine seasons with Tampa Bay, Maddon went 754-705 and led the Rays to four postseason appearances. They reached the World Series in 2008 before losing to the Philadelphia Phillies in five games. Maddon also won AL Manager of the Year in 2008 and 2011.
The Cubs' former manager, Rick Renteria, was fired hours before Maddon was hired.
- Mike Fiammetta