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Cubs hire Joe Maddon as manager

The team officially announced the move on Friday.

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Cubs have announced that they have hired Joe Maddon as their next manager, as first reported by Jon Heyman of last Wednesday. While the details of his contract with Chicago are not yet known, Maddon has reportedly been looking for a deal in the five-year, $25 million range and is expected to become one of the highest-paid managers in all of baseball.

The team first announced that they have fired incumbent manager Rick Renteria, who only spent one season with the club after the firing of Dale Sveum last year. Club president Theo Epstein explained the process of hiring Maddon in a candid press release on Friday afternoon.

Rick deserved to come back for another season as Cubs manager, and we said as much when we announced that he would be returning in 2015. We met with Rick two weeks ago for a long end-of-season evaluation and discussed plans for next season. We praised Rick to the media and to our season ticket holders. These actions were made in good faith.

Last Thursday, we learned that Joe Maddon - who may be as well suited as anyone in the industry to manage the challenges that lie ahead of us - had become a free agent. We confirmed the news with Major League Baseball, and it became public knowledge the next day. We saw it as a unique opportunity and faced a clear dilemma: be loyal to Rick or be loyal to the organization. In this business of trying to win a world championship for the first time in 107 years, the organization has priority over any one individual. We decided to pursue Joe.

While there was no clear playbook for how to handle this type of situation, we knew we had to be transparent with Rick before engaging with Joe. Jed flew to San Diego last Friday and told Rick in person of our intention to talk to Joe about the managerial job. Subsequently, Jed and I provided updates to Rick via telephone and today informed him that we will indeed make a change.

The Cubs have been considered a frontrunner to land Maddon since he opted out of his deal with the Rays two weeks ago, despite interest from multiple teams throughout the league. The hiring of Maddon represents a commitment to a reputable manager to see through the club's long rebuilding process. With prospects like Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, C.J. Edwards and Kris Bryant soon to join the major league club, the future is bright for a Cubs' club that was thought to have hired Renteria as a short-term lame duck manager until a long-term replacement could be named.

In nine seasons as the Rays' manager, Maddon compiled a 754-705 record (.517) while making the postseason on four occasions and reaching the World Series in 2008. He is widely regarded as one of the best managers in baseball, and became a free agent as a result of disagreements with Rays' management fueled by the departure of new Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.