On Sunday, the Chicago Cubs announced manager . Maddon's tenure with the Cubs, then, ends with four playoff appearances and 90-win campaigns, as well as the 2016 World Series title that snapped Chicago's title drought. On the whole, that's about as good of a run as can be reasonably expected.
As such, it stands to reason Maddon will be in demand this winter. Contending clubs can pitch him as the finishing touch on a championship run, while non-contenders can point to his role in turning around the Rays and the Cubs as evidence that he's the right person for the job.
We are nothing if not opportunistic mess-lovers, so we decided to put together a list of 10 teams who could conceivably be in the market for a manager. Below you'll find our ranking of those teams, ranked from least to most likeliest to employ Maddon at the start of the 2020 season. As always, remember that this is more art than science.
10. Colorado Rockies
We think the odds of the Rockies making a managerial change are slim to none. Skipper Bud Black is under contract through the 2022 season, after all. But the Rockies did lose 90-plus games in a season in which they were supposed to be competitive. Sometimes, that's enough to precipitate a change -- especially when there's a high-quality alternative available.
The Royals are one of the few teams in baseball who we know for sure will have a new manager in place by next spring. They're still years away from being competitive, and it's hard to see Maddon wanting to babysit for very long given he'll turn 66 next February. The timeline just doesn't match up here, so we don't see this being a realistic fit.
To some extent, the Mariners are a combination of the Rockies (they have a manager who signed a multi-year extension recently) and the Royals (they're still a ways off from competing). Besides, it's anyone's guess if Jerry Dipoto would fire Scott Servais, who is said to be one of his better friends. For now, at least, we're going to bet against the Mariners making a change.
The Pirates also fired Clint Hurdle on Sunday, just days after he said he'd been told he would remain in place. The Pirates will have to pay Hurdle's contract in 2020, and it's hard for us to believe owner Bob Nutting would pay Maddon's (likely) hefty salary on top of that.
Farhan Zaidi needs to replace Bruce Bochy, and should have good insight on Maddon, given they've both worked extensively alongside Andrew Friedman. The Giants wouldn't seem to fit Maddon's timeline, though, and our guess is they go with someone younger.
We're listing the White Sox, if only to appease those with dark senses of humor. Remember, the Cubs fired Rick Renteria after just one season so they could hire Maddon. Renteria has had a longer run with the White Sox, but it would be something if Maddon sidled in and replaced him again, right as the team seemed on the come up. It seems unlikely to happen, of course.
Now we're starting to get more realistic. Our guess is the Mets will fire Mickey Callaway, permitting GM Brodie Van Wagenen to pick his own skipper. Maddon would fit with Van Wagenen's bold, star-loving style. Who knows, he might even have the necessary skills to smooth over Noah Syndergaard's relationship with the club. At minimum, Maddon in New York would be sure to yield some amusing moments.
Maddon has a history with the Angels organization, and even enjoyed a few stints as interim skipper before landing a team of his own. Theand GM Billy Eppler has to know he's on the hot seat, so perhaps hiring Maddon would appease owner Arte Moreno and convince him to open up his wallet this winter.
Should the Phillies make a change, Maddon would make sense as Gabe Kapler's successor. He's from Hazleton, Pa. -- or about a two hours' drive away from Citizens Bank Park -- and he's accustomed to dealing with high-pressure environments, so having to manage the high expectations around the team wouldn't bother him. Maddon's quirkiness would probably be better received by the locals after two seasons of Kapler, too.
Everyone is connecting these dots, and for good reason. It makes sense. The Padres have shown a willingness to make a splash, but are on the hunt for a skipper who can help them make the leap to contention. Maddon served in a similar role with the Cubs, and might prefer to head back to a lower-stakes environment like the one he enjoyed in Tampa. The Padres likely to face stiff competition, but they're one of a handful of teams who we can see seriously pursuing Maddon this winter. Whether they'll win out in the end is to be seen.