Stuart Sternberg the owner of the Tampa Bay Rays said the club tried aggressively and diligently to sign Joe Maddon to another contract extension. However, Sternberg said that Maddon opted out of his current contract with the Rays to explore his possibilities managing elsewhere in Major League Baseball and would not be the Rays manager in 2015.
Maddon, in comments tweeted from the Tampa Bay Times, said he decided to leave the Rays because of a combination of financial situations and a curiosity over other opportunities that might present themselves.
Maddon added that he had discussed with the Rays about a new contract however, the two sides were too far apart to come to an agreement.
He called his decision to leave Tampa Bay gut wrenching and something that made him feel sick.
The departure of Maddon comes just 10 days after the executive vice president of Tampa Bay Andrew Friedman joined the Los Angeles Dodgers as the president of baseball operations.
Almost immediately, speculation began about where the veteran manager might manage next.
A source with the Dodgers said Friday that the departure of Maddon from Tampa Bay had nothing to do with the Dodgers.
Don Mattingly the manager for the Dodgers signed a contract extension for three years in January that runs through 2016. When Friedman was introduced in Los Angeles last week, he said that Mattingly would definitely be the manager for the Dodgers in 2015.
Friedman said he worked almost 10 years with Maddon as the manager in Tampa Bay and was looking forward to working for a long time with Mattingly at Los Angeles.
This season Tampa Bay finished 77-85, which was the first season since 2009 that the club won fewer than 90 games.
Amongst active managers, Maddon is one of the most successful when it comes to 90-win seasons with five. He trails just Mike Scioscia and Terry Francona with 7 apiece.