You can all but guarantee that Joe Maddon is not going to be brought back as the manager of the Chicago Cubs, news that was only further confirmed by Ken Rosenthal's Friday report. It's crazy to think he won't be retained by the team he won a World Series for, but things happen, strategies congeal, and they are moving on.
However, you can bet that Maddon will be the most sought-after manager available. So, where should he go?
Here are the four best destinations for Joe Maddon when the Cubs inevitably let him waltz out the door.
4. New York Mets
Of the possible fits, the New York Mets job seems very unlikely, even if they part ways with Mickey Callaway. With Maddon's cache and history of winning, he'll cost a pretty penny, which the Wilpons probably don't want to pay. However, if there's a manager out there who can handle everything that comes with being in New York, Maddon is your guy. The Mets actually have talent. All they need is someone who can push the right buttons, which Maddon has proven he can do at a high level over the course of his career.
3. Philadelphia Phillies
After two consecutive disappointing seasons, current Philadelphia Phillies manager Gabe Kapler could be let go, and since ownership is willing to spend big money, why not pony up and bring Joe Maddon aboard? Maddon is from Pennsylvania and still does a lot of charity work there, so this seems like a perfect fit for him, and he'd become a legend if he wins a World Series in the City of Brotherly Love.
2. San Diego Padres
Right now, the San Diego Padres are the only open managerial vacancy in the game, which will certainly change over the coming days. But as far as teams that make sense for Maddon, the Padres might be at the top, with all their young talent that's on the rise. Sound like a familiar situation to the one Maddon inherited in Tampa Bay and Chicago?
1. Los Angeles Angels
The Angels just hired Brad Ausmus last year after Mike Scioscia was let go, so on the surface, the job isn't up for grabs. However, it wouldn't be the first time a recently hired manager was let go for someone better (i.e. Rick Renteria being canned by the Cubs for Maddon). Oh, and Maddon spent 31 years in the Angels organization, so he'd be coming home and might actually make the Mike Trout-led Angels a winner. The clock is ticking for Angels GM Billy Eppler, so hiring a big fish like Maddon might be the only way he keeps his job.