The Rays have tied up a sizeable loose end before heading into spring training.
The club announced Wednesday that it has agreed on a three-year contract extension with manager Joe Maddon, confirming an unofficial report that had circulated in the media Tuesday.
The news was hardly unexpected even before that. In fact, at his season-ending press conference in October, Maddon expressed complete confidence that the deal would get done and has said repeatedly that he wouldnt want to manage anywhere else.
The extension will reportedly be worth some 6-million over the three years. Should he stay through the last season, 2015, hell become one of only 25 managers in baseballs modern era to reach 10 straight years at the helm of the same team.
As I have said before, I believe this is the best organization in Major League Baseball, and I feel fortunate knowing I will be a part of this for the next several years, Maddon said. Our ownership group, front office staff and players make the Rays organization the place I want to be.
Maddons record in six seasons with the Rays: two American League Manager of the Year awards, an appearance in the 2008 World Series, two AL East Division crowns in four seasons and three playoff trips in that span, and a record of 495-477 compared to the avalanche of losing (518-775) prior to his arrival.
Beyond the numbers, Maddon, 58, has also instilled a strong team chemistry and established the Rays as consistent winners in spite of the franchises tight payroll constraints. As evidence of how hes regarded by players, a Sports Illustrated poll of 291 current major leaguers last August voted him as the manager they would most like to play for.
Joe has been a central component to our organization's development and success, Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg said. As we all enter our seventh season together, I am proud for what we have accomplished and excited about what lies ahead.
Added Andrew Friedman, executive vice president of baseball operations: In 2005, we hired Joe to be the long-term manager of the Rays, and this extension reaffirms our commitment to him. I have tremendous respect for Joes leadership and for his unwavering belief in our players and the entire Rays organization.
Maddon joined Rays in 2006 after a 31-year career in the Angels organization, working most of his last 10 seasons as bench coach for Mike Scioscia.
Today, he is one of only four active skippers to win Manager of the Year multiple times, along with Scioscia, Detroits Jim Leyland, and Dusty Baker of the Reds.
Hes gradually moving up the seniority ranks of managers as well. Just four have been on the job longer than he has: Scioscia, Leyland, Ron Gardenhire of the Minnesota Twins and Charlie Manuel of the Philadelphia Phillies.
With that bit of contractual housekeeping complete, the club can turn its focus on the next matter at hand: pitchers and catchers reporting for the start of camp on Monday.