Whatever you think of the timing, Jon Heyman’s report yesterday that the Chicago Cubs and Joe Maddon were on the verge of a deal that would bring in Maddon as the next manager of the Cubs seemed to confirm what many in the industry, and many behind the scenes, had been hearing and discussing for days.
To that end, it would be logical to presume that the primary – and maybe exclusive – reason for the Cubs and Maddon’s agent to so vehemently deny the report was the World Series taking place later that evening. Well, that has now taken place, and the season is over.
So, where do we stand? There’s not an actual chance that this doesn’t happen, right?
Well, the answer appears to be no. Whether the denials were based on the World Series or not, it does seem like it was accurate to say yesterday that Maddon and the Cubs did not have a final, official deal in place. But everyone seems to think it’s going to get done:
When the deal actually crosses the finish line and is announced, Joe Maddon will be a great hire for the Cubs.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) October 30, 2014
It's all but official that Joe Maddon will soon be named the Cubs new Manager. Press Conference soon
— David Schuster (@Schumouse) October 29, 2014
And there is a report from Patrick Mooney saying signs are pointing to a deal, a report from Gordon Wittenmyer saying the sides are closing in on a deal and the Cubs are the only serious suitor, a report from the New York Times citing an MLB official confirming a deal, and a report from the New York Post saying Maddon has agreed to join the Cubs.
Even Maddon’s agent, Alan Nero, couched his denial of a done deal like this (MLB.com): “We don’t have a done deal. We continue to talk to several clubs. It’s not to say we won’t have a deal done in the next few days, and if we do, it will be announced.” That sounds like a deal will be formalized very soon.
I would expect more on this today, even if the formal announcement doesn’t come until tomorrow. There are probably still many things to finalize and smooth out, even if Maddon has agreed to a deal. There are coaching staff questions, which you’ll want to resolve almost immediately. There is the Rick Renteria fallout, which must be handled respectfully and carefully.