Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays, manager Joe Maddon agree to three-year contract extension

Manager Joe Maddon led the Rays from back-to-back last-place finishes to the AL championship last season.

DIRK SHADD | Times

Manager Joe Maddon led the Rays from back-to-back last-place finishes to the AL championship last season.

ST. PETERSBURG — The official announcement will come soon, probably this weekend in Miami. But as word spread Wednesday that the Rays and manager Joe Maddon had agreed to a three-year contract extension, the deal was already getting positive reviews where it matters most: in the clubhouse.

"It's the best move this organization can make," first baseman Carlos Peña said. "To me, he's the best in the game."

Maddon, 55, is in his fourth season with the Rays but, despite last season's improbable run, is in the final year of his contract. The Rays declined to address his status during the winter and were expected to wait until near the end of the season but apparently changed their thinking — perhaps because of the team's slow start — and approached Maddon within the past week.

The new deal will run through the 2012 season and includes a raise, with only some contract language to be worked out. The St. Petersburg Times first reported the agreement Wednesday on its Web site, tampabay.com.

Maddon has been very open about wanting to stay with the Rays — "I want to be here for many years," he said last month — but was limited Wednesday in what he could say about the deal.

"Officially, I have no comment because it's an ongoing matter, and it's our team policy to not really comment on those things," he said. "At the appropriate time we will, obviously, but it's just not the appropriate time yet."

The team said even less. Executive vice president Andrew Friedman, off scouting draft prospects, issued a statement saying it's not team policy to "comment on rumors or unconfirmed reports."

Maddon is known for his serial positivity, creative — and sometimes controversial — strategy and an emphasis on relationships and communication to create a relaxed atmosphere. The Rays finished last his first two seasons, losing 101 and 96 games, then staged a remarkable turnaround in 2008, winning 97 and reaching the Series. He was voted AL manager of the year.

Maddon is in the second of the two-year option that was part of the original two-year deal he signed when the Rays gave him his first full-time managing job. He has a 244-284 record with the Rays, 271-308 including interim stints with the Angels.

As players heard the news from a reporter before Wednesday's game, they seemed genuinely happy and a few surprised it hadn't happened sooner.

"Too bad it had to take this long,'' Troy Percival said. "He's deserved it. He's put in a lot of hard work here.''

"You tell me that, I'm like, 'Man, I can't tell you how much I would love to just play for him all my life,' " Peña said.

"You basically assumed that was going to be the move. Why wouldn't it be? Sometimes I think we forget where we have come from a few years ago. I think it's good to know this was built from scratch, from last place to first place to a World Series ballclub to a team now that everyone here expects to be at a high level at the end of the year.

"How did that happen? Joe started it. … His attitude, his mentality and then it trickles down to everyone. He started this culture. He built it."

"That's awesome," pitcher James Shields said. "It's hard to come into this organization the way he did with the position we were in. He's done a tremendous job. … He's done great with us and how young we are, and his approach to the game has been amazing. For him to get rewarded like that is a great thing.''

Marc Topkin can be reached at topkin@sptimes.com.

FAST FACTS

Maddon with Rays

AL East
YearW-LFinish

200661-1015

200766-965

200897-651

200920-22?

Tampa Bay Rays, manager Joe Maddon agree to three-year contract extension 05/20/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 20, 2009 10:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Quick snaps: Florida's streak, FSU's true freshman QB and UCF's prolific offense

    College

    Streaking

     Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain shakes hands with Kentucky Wildcats head coach Mark Stoops at the end of the game between the University of Florida and the University of Kentucky in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, in Gainesville, Fla. Florida defeated Kentucky 45-7.
  2. Cannon Fodder podcast: Key matchups in Bucs-Vikings game

    Blogs

    In our latest Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast, Greg Auman breaks down five key matchups that will help decide Sunday's Bucs game against the Minnesota Vikings.

    Defensive lineman Chris Baker is a question mark heading into Sunday's game against the Vikings.
  3. Rick and Tom podcast: Will Bucs go 2-0? Are Gators on upset alert?

    Blogs

    It's football friday as Rick Stroud and Tom Jones break down the Bucs' game in Minnesota, including the improved offensive line.

    Ali Marpet moved from guard to center on an improved Bucs offensive line.
  4. Week 4 Heisman watch, local of the week and more

    College

    Heisman watch

    San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny (20) reacts with teammates during the final minute of the second half of an NCAA college football game against Stanford Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, in San Diego. San Diego State won 20-17. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull) CAGB113
  5. Rays morning after: Matt Andriese trying to put good finish on injury-marred season

    Blogs

    RHP Matt Andriese can't make up for the 2-1/2 months he missed due to a hip injury this season after getting off to a solid 5-1, 3.54 start.

    Matt Andriese will have the chance to put a solid finish on his season Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.