According to a report from the Sun-Times, Major League Baseball has not made a decision on the tampering charges filed by the Rays against the Cubs for hiring Joe Maddon. And the process “will continue into the season.” The Sun-Times report did not provide a timeframe as to when MLB will finally make its ruling on the case.
A week after Joe Maddon was introduced as the Cubs manager at The Cubby Bear on Nov. 3, news surfaced the Rays had filed formal tampering charges with Major League Baseball against the Cubs, Joe Maddon and Maddon’s agent, Alan Nero. The Rays believe Maddon would not have opted out of his contract had he not known about the Cubs interest and the financial commitment Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer were willing to make.
Alan Nero called the tampering accusations the Rays made “sad and insulting” at the time.
Joe Maddon wanted to stay in Tampa but exercised a “change of control clause” that he had in his contract. Maddon’s agent, Alan Nero, did not negotiate the option with Andrew Friedman, who actually triggered it when he took the Dodgers job, but the clause was added to Maddon’s contract by Matt Silverman.
Nearly five months ago when the charge was filed, Theo Epstein said the Cubs did not tamper with Maddon and did not engage with him until the paperwork had been filed. Epstein was adamant in the fact the Cubs did not persuade Maddon to leave his job in Tampa and said he did not appreciate being accused of something he and the Cubs didn’t do.
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer said in November, the Cubs would fully cooperate with Major League Baseball in its investigation. And Major League Baseball was expected to announce its decision before the first of the year.
Theo Epstein fielded questions about the tampering charges at the convention in January. The Cubs President of Baseball Operations was not thrilled a resolution had not been announced. But said he was expecting to know something by the start of Spring Training.
The investigation was thought to be winding down in February with everything pointing to the Cubs being cleared in the matter. The Rays, however, maintained they have evidence that the Cubs did in fact persuade Maddon to leave his job with the Rays to be the Cubs manager.
After further delays, an announcement was made during Maddon’s first camp as skipper of the Cubs that MLB would conclude its investigation by Opening Day.
If Major League Baseball rules in the Rays favor after deciding the Cubs tampered with Maddon, the Cubs would have to compensate Tampa for its loss. The Cubs could have to send the Rays a player, a draft pick or picks and/or money. And if Major League Baseball determined through the course of the investigation that anyone in the Cubs front office lied to investigators there could be suspensions.