It's a whole new ballgame: Joe Maddon leaving the Rays

click to enlarge Maddon earlier this year on Tampa's Bayshore Boulevard. - Photo by Heidi Kurpiela
Photo by Heidi Kurpiela
Maddon earlier this year on Tampa's Bayshore Boulevard.

UPDATE: Read Mitch Perry's recap of the conference call with the Rays' president of baseball operations, Matt Silverman, who says he was "surprised and disappointed" by Maddon's decision to leave.

Say it ain't so, Joe! 

Tampa Bay Rays Manager Joe Maddon has opted out of his contract and will not manage the Rays in 2015.

No word yet on whether Maddon will join former Rays VP Andrew Friedman at the LA Dodgers, as has been rumored,  but he has definitely decided to go somewhere else. Further details to come at a conference call with the Rays' Matt Silverman.

Here's the statement that was released this morning.

Matt Silverman Conference Call Scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—This morning, Tampa Bay Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg issued the following statement regarding Joe Maddon’s contract situation:

“Joe Maddon has exercised an opt-out in his current contract, a contract which was not scheduled to expire until after the 2015 season. We tried diligently and aggressively to sign Joe to a third contract extension prior to his decision. As of yesterday afternoon, Joe enabled himself to explore opportunities throughout Major League Baseball. He will not be managing the Rays in 2015. Joe has been our manager for nine seasons, and the foundation of success laid during his tenure endures. We thank him for all that he’s meant to the organization.”

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