Cubs cleared of tampering with Rays' Maddon

CHICAGO (AP) Major League Baseball has ruled that the Chicago Cubs did not violate tampering rules when they pursued manager Joe Maddon last fall.

The commissioner's office released a statement Wednesday clearing the Cubs of wrongdoing about six months after Tampa Bay accused Chicago of tampering with their manager before Maddon opted out of his contract with the Rays.

''The investigation produced no finding of a violation of Major League Rule 3(k) on tampering,'' MLB said in the statement.

The Cubs were happy it's finally resolved.

''We're glad that the process is over,'' Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said. ''We're glad the result we expected came through and now we can put it behind us and never talk about it again.''

The Rays stood by their request for an investigation.

''We make our decisions based on the facts at hand and the processes we trust,'' Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg said in a statement. ''We can never be certain of the outcomes.''

The Cubs announced Oct. 31 that Rick Renteria had been fired after one season as manager and that Maddon was hired.

Maddon opted out of his contract with Tampa Bay soon after Rays executive Andrew Friedman left the club to take over the Los Angeles Dodgers in mid-October.

''From my perspective, there's zero hard feelings,'' Maddon said of the Rays. ''These are my guys for many years. Without the opportunity that they gave me I would not be sitting here right now. I'll always been grateful for that.''

Cubs executive Theo Epstein has said the Cubs checked with MLB to be sure Maddon was OK to talk with other clubs before negotiating with him.

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