Almost before the news conference Theo Epstein and Joe Maddon held on the 2019 season’s last day in St. Louis announcing Joe wouldn’t be returning to the Cubs was over, speculation had him signing on to manage the Angels.
Maddon worked for the Angels for 31 years as a minor-league manager, major-league coach, bench coach and interim manager before leaving to take over the Rays in 2006.
It was reported at the time Joe left the Cubs that he still owned a home in Orange County, California. Now he’ll get to use that home:
Joe Maddon deal with Angels likely to be for 3 years. In the 12-15 mil range.— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) October 16, 2019
Maddon had said that he had “3-5 years left” when he departed the Cubs scene, so this length deal makes sense. One more note:
Joe Maddon’s 3-year deal with the #Angels is nearly finalized, as @JonHeyman and @ESPNChiCubs reported, and will be announced before the World Series. Buck Showalter was runner-up— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) October 16, 2019
So Joe gets a chance to manage the best player in the game, Mike Trout. It’ll be fascinating to see how he uses two-way player Shohei Ohtani. At the moment, there are three former Cubs he managed on the Angels’ 40-man roster: Tommy La Stella, Trevor Cahill and Felix Pena. Will Ben Zobrist follow Joe to Anaheim?
We likely won’t get to see Maddon manage at Wrigley Field, unless the Cubs and Angels meet in the World Series during his tenure. The Angels just played a series at Wrigley this past season and the two teams won’t meet in interleague play again until 2022, when they’ll likely meet in Anaheim. That would be the final year of Maddon’s contract.
The Cubs and Angels will meet at Sloan Park in Mesa Monday, March 2, 2020 and you can bet there will be a sellout crowd that afternoon wanting to salute Joe. I hope the Cubs put together a tribute video to play on the video board in Mesa that day.
I wish Joe Maddon nothing but success managing the Angels. Since his team isn’t in the Cubs’ division or league, we can all root for him to succeed and perhaps meet again in the World Series. Maddon was the Angels’ bench coach for their only World Series appearance and win in 2002. Perhaps he can get them back there as manager.