Despite their season-ending game on Tuesday versus the Colorado Rockies, Chicago Cubs Manager Joe Maddon is expected to keep his job through the 2019 season.
Maddon officially has one year left on his five-year, $25 million contract. He is set to earn around $6 million in the 2019 season alone, according to reporting from ESPN.
The expectation that Maddon will keep his job comes as his team is officially eliminated from the playoffs. Earlier in the week, during a special game-163 tie-breaking matchup against the Milwaukee Brewers to determine who would officially become the National League Central Division champions, the Cubs lost. With the second-best record in the NL, however, the Cubs became one of two wild card teams, the other being the Rockies.
Since 2012, Major League Baseball has had two wild card teams — the two teams with the best records in each league, besides the teams that won division titles — face off against each other in a one-game playoff round, according to Sports Illustrated. The winning wild card team then faces off against the best seeded team among the division winners.
That meant that, had the Cubs beaten the Rockies on Tuesday, they would have faced off again against their division rivals, the Brewers, later on this week. But the Cubs lost to Colorado, 2-1, in 13 innings.
The game between the Cubs and the Rockies was the longest postseason elimination game in MLB history.
Per reporting from Bob Nightengale, a sports reporter with USA Today, Maddon will remain the manager of the team through 2019. What’s left unknown at this point, however, is whether he will be leading the team beyond that season, as the Cubs management has not yet brokered an extension deal with him at this time.
Nightengale tweeted on Wednesday that “[t]he Cubs will make a determination on his future after 2019.”
It would be hard to imagine Maddon being removed completely from the Cubs manager position, especially considering how far he’s brought the club since signing on in 2015. The Cubs, under his leadership, have been to the playoffs four times during that time period, winning the NL Central Division title twice and being wild card contenders as many times as well. In 2016, Maddon brought his team to the World Series, which the Cubs won, their first championship season since 1908.
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo believes that Maddon should stay on to manage the team for the foreseeable future. “Without his leadership here, guys aren’t playing the way they play,” Rizzo said.