St. Petersburg, FL (SportsNetwork.com) -
Joe Maddon's tenure as manager of the Tampa Bay Rays came to a sudden end after nine seasons when he exercised an opt-out clause in his contract on Friday.
Maddon had managed the Rays since 2006, leading them to one World Series berth while presiding over the most successful period in the franchise's 17-year history.
His exit came despite what the team described as an active bid to keep him. It followed the departure of longtime executive Andrew Friedman, who was hired by the Los Angeles Dodgers last week.
Maddon won't be short on options
By Chris Ruddick, MLB Editor
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) -
Joe Maddon is now the most coveted free agent in Major League Baseball.
Maddon stunned the baseball world on Friday, as after nine years with the Tampa Bay Rays, he chose to exercise an opt-out clause in his contract, ending the most successful era in the team's history.
"Joe Maddon has exercised an opt-out in his current contract, a contract which was not scheduled to expire until after the 2015 season," Rays owner Stuart Sternberg said in a statement. "We tried diligently and aggressively to sign Joe to a third contract extension prior to his decision.