Joe Maddon, after spending nine years with the Tampa Bay Rays, has opted out of his contract, per Buster Olney of ESPN. Maddon’s career as a manager started as he helmed the ship for the California/Anaheim Angels for parts of the 1996 and 1999 seasons. He then spent the last nine years with the Rays, where he compiled a record of 754 wins and 705 losses. This past season, the Rays finished 77-85.
Maddon took the Rays to the World Series in 2008 where they fell to the Phillies in five games. It was their first World Series appearance. In 2008, the Rays overall payroll was around $43M, second to last in the Majors. During Maddon’s tenure as manager of the Rays, the team’s overall payroll has never gone above $90M, yet the team finished with a win percentage above .500 in six of Maddon’s nine seasons as manager.
Maddon’s departure comes as a bit of a surprise, as Matt Silverman, the Tampa Bay Rays’ new vice president of baseball operations told reporters earlier in the week that he expected Maddon to remain in 2015.