It was announced that the Cubs would be signing Joe Maddon a few days ago, but the details of his deal weren’t originally released. Now we’re hearing that the new Cubs skipper has a 5-year contract, worth about $25 million total, plus incentives. That’s a hefty sum, equaling the yearly figure of top-tier managers like Mike Scioscia and Bruce Bochy.
The Cubs organization is hoping that Maddon will be the right guy to groom their young talent into a National League power, and I will say that it makes sense, rather than going with another first time manager. There’s too much potential in the Chicago system to risk it on guys who could be great managers but haven’t had the opportunity to prove it.
Despite all the cries of unethical practices after Renteria was fired in favor of Maddon, I really don’t have any problem with it. Sometimes, when a top candidate becomes available, you can’t pass them up. That’s the case with Maddon, who has a proven record of turning young talent into contenders. He took a team who had never won anything and made them a legitimate playoff team. If he was able to do that, then a Billy Goat shouldn’t be too much trouble for him.
Then again, the Bleacher Bums shouldn’t get too excited about the 2015 Cubs season. There’s still quite a few holes on this team, and the more promising positions are young and unproven. Even if they are able to nab one or more of the major pitchers that are on the free agent market, that’s by no means a sign of a World Series, or even the playoffs. Maddon will help them with those free agent targets, and he’ll help them find a way to get the best out of their players, but he’s still not going to be able to make Javy Baez make contact with the ball, and he’s not going to be able to help the bullpen close out the game. Players still have to play.