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Cubs won't talk Maddon extension in offseason

Epstein: Team will re-evaluate later in 2019
MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

The 2019 season is the last year of manager Joe Maddon's contract with the Cubs, and president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said Monday the club will not discuss an extension this offseason.

Speaking to the media at the General Managers Meetings in Carlsbad, Calif., Epstein said he had informed Maddon's agent, Alan Nero, about his decision.

The 2019 season is the last year of manager Joe Maddon's contract with the Cubs, and president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said Monday the club will not discuss an extension this offseason.

Speaking to the media at the General Managers Meetings in Carlsbad, Calif., Epstein said he had informed Maddon's agent, Alan Nero, about his decision.

"We're not running away from Joe in the least bit, but given that we all have things we're working on to get more out of this team -- and to be one game better than we were last year -- this is the appropriate move," Epstein told reporters.

Epstein said the Cubs will re-evaluate the situation later in the 2019 season.

Chicago has compiled a 387-261 (.597) record under Maddon, 64, who is the first manager in franchise history to lead the team to the postseason in four consecutive seasons. That stretch includes a World Series championship in 2016, the organization's first in 108 years.

This year, the Cubs blew a five-game lead in the National League Central and had to play the Brewers in a one-game tiebreaker on Oct. 1 to determine the division champion. The Cubs topped Milwaukee, then lost to the Rockies in the NL Wild Card Game the next day.

During his end-of-the-season wrap-up last month, Epstein had to answer questions about possible friction between him and Maddon. At that time, Epstein said he and Maddon had a "terrific working relationship," and that he looked forward to having Maddon back.

Still, the Cubs feel they have some unfinished business after the way the 2018 season ended.

"I think we're really talented," Epstein said Monday. "It's time to produce, or else there's a chance for signifcant change for the group. So that's really where our focus is. ... It's a pivotal year."

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.

Chicago Cubs