Joe Maddon, who slipped free from the Rays on Friday on a contract loophole, is expected to be named Cubs manager by the end of this week, according to multiple reports.
Maddon, 60, led the Rays to four playoff appearances during his nine-year tenure, including the 2008 World Series, which they lost in five games to the Phillies. Despite claiming to want to stay with Tampa Bay long term, Maddon abruptly bolted after general manager Andrew Friedman's jump to the Dodgers this month essentially made him a free agent.
Maddon wasn't on the market for very long. As soon as the Rays announced his exit, the Cubs emerged as the front-runner to hire him, even though they have a manager, Rick Renteria, under contract through 2016.
Maddon's success with young players in Tampa Bay made him an attractive option for Chicago, which is loaded with prospects and looking to rebuild from a deep farm system. The Cubs also have plenty of money to spend -- a luxury that Maddon did not have in trying to compete against the Yankees and Red Sox in the loaded AL East.
Major League Baseball strongly discourages teams from making significant announcements during the World Series, which is apparently why the Cubs were waiting until after Wednesday night's's Game 7 to make Maddon's hiring official. CBSSports.com was the first to report Wednesday that Maddon had reached agreement with the Cubs.