Cubs manager Joe Maddon will return for his fifth season with the team.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon will remain with the team through 2019, president of operations Theo Epstein said in a press conference on Wednesday.
Maddon, whose Cubs lost the NL Central tiebreaker on Monday before being eliminated from the 2018 playoffs on Tuesday, is on the last year of a five-year, $25 million contract that he signed in 2015. While the Cubs have made the postseason in all four years under Maddon's tenure, sources told MLB.com that the Cubs will not extend Maddon's contract until he is re-evaluated following the 2019 season.
Maddon led the Cubs to the team's first World Series title in 108 years with a Game 7 win over the Cleveland Indians in 2016. The Cubs have won 90-plus games each of the last four seasons. Chicago was eliminated in the NL Championship Series last year and lost 2-1 to the Rockies in Tuesday night's 13-inning wild-card matchup.
Maddon's return was endorsed by several Cubs players following the team's early postseason exit.
Pitcher Kyle Hendricks told the Chicago Tribune that Maddon "did an unbelievable job" and "shouldn't be questioned one bit." Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez and Willson Contreras also voiced their support.
"They didn't [criticize Maddon] when he made a good move and he wins the game," Baez said after Tuesday night's game. "They didn't say that in 2016 when we won [the World series]. We love our manager."
News of Maddon's return comes in light of reports early Wednesday morning of a potential drift between Maddon and Cubs president Theo Epstein. According to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, Maddon has not asked for an extension himself.