Major League Baseball has not made a decision on the tampering charges filed by the Rays against the Cubs for hiring Joe Maddon. The Rays maintain that Maddon would not have opted out of his contract had he not known the Cubs were willing to hire him.
The issue that was supposed to be cleared up before the first of the year is nearing the six-month mark.
Topkin explained in the Tampa Bay Times, “That despite his goal and fervent hope to have it wrapped up by Opening Day, the probe remains ongoing, though it should be concluded fairly soon. Adding to the intrigue, he also notes that investigations don’t always have predictable timelines as things happen that need to be pursued.”
Marc Topkin noted that due to the time MLB has taken to resolve the situation “it would seem there may be something there.”
According to Topkin, if Major League Baseball determines the Cubs did in fact tamper with Joe Maddon, the team could be fined or have to forfeit a draft pick to the Rays.
When the charges were first filed in November, Joel Sherman reported the Cubs could be fined or have to give a draft pick or draft picks to the Rays or send a player to Tampa if MLB decided the Cubs broke the rules when Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer hired Joe Maddon.
The Cubs have maintained they did not engage with Joe Maddon until the paperwork was filed with Major League Baseball that he had opted out of his contract. Theo Epstein was adamant that no one in the organization did anything to persuade Maddon to leave Tampa for an opportunity with the Cubs.
The front office said the Cubs would fully cooperate with MLB in its investigation.
Theo Epstein has publicly stated he does not appreciate the accusations and was looking forward to the team being cleared of all allegations. Epstein was not happy a resolution had not been announced in January and was expecting to put the matter behind him and the team before Spring Training started in February.
It appeared before Spring Training that a resolution was near that would have cleared the Cubs in the matter. But the Rays maintain they have evidence that the Cubs did persuade Maddon to leave Tampa to take the job with the Cubs.
During Spring Training, Major League Baseball said their decision on the matter would be announced by Opening Day. The Saturday prior to the open of the 2015 season, MLB indicated they needed more time because there was “still some work to be done with the investigation.”