Advertisement
  1. Rays

Former Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey leaves Cubs for “personal reasons”

Hickey had spent 11 years with Rays before leaving following 2017 season.
Pitching coach Jim Hickey, far right, celebrates with outfielder Kyle Schwarber, center, and first-base coach Will Venable (25) after the Cubs defeat the Pirates 1-0 on Aug. 17, 2018. [Associated Press]
Pitching coach Jim Hickey, far right, celebrates with outfielder Kyle Schwarber, center, and first-base coach Will Venable (25) after the Cubs defeat the Pirates 1-0 on Aug. 17, 2018. [Associated Press]
Published Nov. 20, 2018
Updated Nov. 20, 2018

Former Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey has left the Cubs after one season for what the team said were "personal reasons."

The Cubs made the announcement Tuesday afternoon with a statement from baseball operations chief Theo Epstein:

"Jim Hickey notified us yesterday of his decision to step down as pitching coach and leave the organization for personal reasons. We thank Jim for his season with the Cubs and his positive impact on our pitchers. Jim has our full support and we all wish him well."

Hickey, 57, spent 11 seasons with the Rays before leaving after last season by what was said to be mutual agreement with one year remaining on his contract, and was immediately replaced by Kyle Snyder.

Hickey immediately became a much sought-after free agent, fielding interest from the Cardinals and Giants among others before signing a multi-year and reportedly rich pact with the Cubs, where he reunited with former Rays boss Joe Maddon and returned to his hometown.

In a late August interview with the Tampa Bay Times, Hickey said he was enjoying his new job.

"I don't think it could have worked better actually for both parties," Hickey said Thursday before the Cubs-Braves game. "For myself, I think the timing was probably perfect. I think for (the Rays) the timing was perfect. I think — I don't think, I knew — Kyle was going to do a great job and is going to have a great career."

The Cubs have made several changes after a disappointing finish to their season, winning 95 games but losing out on the division title and then being ousted in the NL wild-card game. Epstein also said they will not negotiate a contract extension during the off-season with Maddon, who is heading into the fifth and final year of his contract.