Storylines: Maddon opts out of Tampa Bay
In this MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @AndrewIBI.
Here are the stories from Friday, Oct. 25.
- Rays manager Joe Maddon opted out of his contract with the Rays and has left the team, Buster Olney of ESPN.com reported. The move came as a major surprise, as Maddon had said recently that he expected to remain in Tampa. Maddon's agent, Alan Nero, told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times that he expects Maddon will manage a team in 2015. Friedman told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times that his new team, the Dodgers, will not be among the suitors regardless of Maddon's newfound availability. David Kaplan of CSNChicago spoke to several sources who indicated to him that the Cubs are indeed the front-runner to land Maddon at this time, but there are several teams that have shown interest. Olney, who intially reported the opt-out, heard that if Maddon ends up with the Cubs, the Rays will investigate the issue of tampering.
News and Notes:
- Victor Martinez is coming off perhaps the finest season of his career at age 35, but age won't stop the designated hitter from pursuing a four-year contract on the open market, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Martinez implied earlier in the month to Anthony Castrovince that he'd like to play another four years, though not specifically all on one contract. Martinez will decline a qualifying offer from the Tigers and seek a contract that covers the same term that his previous four-year, $50 million contract with Detroit. However, it can be reasonably assumed that the guarantee on a new four-year deal would exceed that total. The Tigers would love to have Martinez back, Heyman wrote, but a four-year deal could be a sticking point for the team.
- New Dodgers President of Operations Andrew Friedman will earn a record-setting $35 million over a five-year term, ESPN.com's Buster Olney reported. The contract also includes incentive mechanisms, per Olney.
- Former Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers is expected to join the Reds' front office to work with close friend Walt Jocketty in the near future, sources told ESPN's Buster Olney. The 52-year-old Towers was removed from the role of GM in Arizona and offered a different position within the organization last month, but Towers declined the opportunity in order to seek a different role with another organization. Former player agent and assistant general manager Dave Stewart was named as Towers' successor, with De Jon Watson jumping from the Dodgers to the D'Backs to serve as senior vice president of baseball operations.
And no surprise on Sellers. He was going to be DFAed anyway.