As intellectual and cerebral as Ray ownership, top executives and manager Joe Maddon are, this one was easy. A "no-brainer," both sides said Monday after formally announcing a three-year contract extension for Maddon that runs through 2012.
"This is where I belong," Maddon said. "This is where I want to be. I really have to use the word 'love' when I talk about this organization, and I really see this as just the beginning. … I really want to stay here, and I'm really grateful that I get the opportunity."
Maddon, 55, could have had other opportunities had his contract expired at the end of this season but said he had no interest in looking elsewhere.
"I've never been one to seek greener pastures," he said. "I've always kind of been loyal to my situation."
And Rays president Matt Silverman and executive VP Andrew Friedman said they had no intention of letting Maddon go, that he has been, and will continue to be, "a big part" of their success on and off the field.
"It's a great day for the organization," Friedman said, joking that the conference call with reporters might sound like a lovefest. "It was important to keep Joe on the front step of our dugout."
Silverman said there was "never a question" about working out a new deal and that all parties had "trust" it would get done. The only issue was timing, as the Rays typically wait until they have to act on contract issues. Silverman said it was more a matter of getting past the "hecticness" of opening the season than the team's slow start that led them to initiate what turned out to be brief negotiations (financial terms were not disclosed).
"And if there were any questions in the clubhouse," Silverman said, "hopefully this contract answered those."
Maddon led the Rays to the World Series last year and has a 247-285 record in his three-plus seasons. He was in the second of a two-year option that followed his original two-year deal.