When the Cubs declined to work out an extension with manager Joe Maddon this offseason, thus ensuring he would enter into the final year of his initial five-year contract with the Cubs without a new deal in place, the Cubs also set up a whole lot of questions about his future as the season would play out.
If the Cubs don’t win the World Series again or something, is this it for the relationship?
If things are going very poorly, would Maddon – one of the most successful managers in Cubs history – be fired in-season?
If things were going very well, would Maddon be offered an extension before the season ends?
Well, we can’t answer those first two for sure, but on that last one, team president Theo Epstein seems to be rather clear: it’s not going to happen.
— Mully And Haugh (@mullyhaugh) May 9, 2019
#Cubs will wait until the end of the year to discuss Joe Maddon's future, Theo Epstein says. There are no plans to engage in extension talks during the season.
— 670 The Score (@670TheScore) May 9, 2019
It remains an awkward and atypical situation for a well-liked, well-respected, extremely-successful manager to be leading his team (in good standing!) with free agency looming just a few months away, but here we are. This is how the Cubs have decided to play things, and for his part, Maddon has always expressed that he’s just fine with it. I suspect that, given Maddon’s hefty price tag (he makes $6 million per year at a time when most managers make a fraction of that), it may have been challenging to come together on an appropriate extension during the season in any case.
I guess we’ll see how this season plays out, and Maddon will be a looming free agent just like any other player.