Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon is the oldest manager in Major League Baseball. Joe Maddon is one of the most highly-compensated managers in Major League Baseball. And each of those two things matter much less than this one: Joe Maddon is one of the best managers in Major League Baseball.
Maddon, 64, came along at the perfect time for this Cubs team, inarguably playing an instrumental role not only in the changing culture and competitiveness of the team, but also specifically in their first World Series victory in 108 years.
With two more seasons left on his contract, you can expect his future to increasingly become a topic of outside discussion – Maddon recently revealed to Jon Heyman that he would like to manage for another five years, or three more years beyond his current deal with the Cubs. Whether the front office concurs with that plan, however, is not something we’re going to hear about directly from them until and unless there’s an extension to announce.
To that end, Gordon Wittenmyer reports that no such extension talks have yet occurred in this interesting and informative read about the state of Maddon’s career and time with the Cubs:
— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) March 25, 2018
That there have not yet been extension talks is not necessarily an issue, since there are two years left before he’s a free agent. This is pretty much the window of time (through next offseason) when you’d expect those talks to first begin.
Although Maddon’s decisions are periodically questioned – as all managers are, especially those who consistently reach the highest stage – I don’t think there are too many Cubs fans who do not recognize that the whole of his work is tremendously valuable. A manager is much more than his individual in-game decisions (also, you tend only to notice the really bizarre or ineffective ones, and less so the correct or savvy ones that happen throughout a game). What Maddon does throughout the season to put his players in the best position to succeed (consider how dang good his teams always are in the second half) is much, much more important.
As for the future, if Maddon wants to stay for more of this competitive window, which figures to last through 2021, then it’s good by me.