Updated 4:01pm CST – According to a report from ESPN Chicago, the Cubs and Joe Maddon’s agent, Alan Nero, have been notified by Major League Baseball that the league is investigating tampering charges. Jed Hoyer had no further comment, said the team stands by previous statements, there was no tampering.
A week after Joe Maddon was introduced as the Cubs manager, Major League Baseball “has unleashed its Department of Investigation to look into whether the Cubs tampered with Joe Maddon while he was still under contract to Tampa Bay” according to a report from Joel Sherman.
The Rays were not pleased with the way Joe Maddon ended up with the Cubs so soon after exercising “the change of control clause” in his contract. Maddon’s agent, Alan Nero, called the tampering accusations the Rays were making “sad and insulting” the Sunday before Maddon’s introductory press conference.
According to the report in the New York Post, “it is the Rays’ contention Maddon only opted out of his contract because he was made aware of what the Cubs were willing to offer him if he should jump. If that indeed occurred, it would be an infraction of Major League rules that forbid teams to talk to personnel under contract with another club.”
The Rays’ Matt Silverman and Alan Nero did not comment when asked about the situation Monday.
If MLB decides the Cubs tampered with Maddon, the Cubs “may have to give the Rays some form of compensation, such as a player, draft picks and/or money” and if it is determined that anyone in the Cubs front office lied to investigators “there could be suspensions.”
Joe Maddon and the Tampa Bay Rays reportedly talked about a contract extension prior to Maddon exercising his opt out. Reports have suggested Maddon was looking for $4 million a year from the Rays and Tampa’s best offer was three years and $9 million.
Theo Epstein denied the allegations last week that the Cubs tampered with Joe Maddon.
“There was no tampering whatsoever. Joe had an out in his contract. We didn’t engage him in any way until that out was exercised,” Theo Epstein said on ESPN 1000. “I understand they are disappointed. But I don’t appreciate the accusation. I understand where they are coming from, but we welcome an investigation if they feel, if MLB feels there has to be one because we have nothing to hide and that will allow everyone to put this behind them and move on.”
Patrick Mooney asked Epstein about the allegations after Maddon’s press conference.
“It’s just wholly inaccurate. There’s nothing to it. If we keep seeing stuff in print, then we’re going to respond at some point. For now, we’ll just take it day-by-day. But there was absolutely no tampering whatsoever. The first thing I did when I got the e-mail, I reached out to Dan Halem – (Major League Baseball’s executive vice president of labor relations) – to confirm that it was a real clause and that he had really exercised it and he had opted out. But I will say that the opt-out clause – it’s right in the contract summary that all teams can get of all managers’ contracts, sitting right there.”
Joel Sherman reported the Rays filing tampering charges against the Cubs could have an impact on Dave Martinez’s future in Tampa. Alan Nero is Martinez’s agent.