San Diego Staurdays: How Joe Maddon Opting Out May Affect Bud Black


Well baseball never sleeps and yesterday was no exception. Out of nowhere news broke that the beloved manager of the Tampa Bay Rays, Joe Maddon, had opted out of his contract with the team and would be leaving immediately. Maddon’s contract stated that if Andrew Friedman, who was the long time General Manager of the Rays, left the team, Maddon would have the choice to opt out and sign elsewhere. Friedman bolted to lead the front office of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Maddon too decided it was time to go. The Dodgers have said that Don Mattingly will still be the team’s manager in 2015 and that they will not pursue Maddon. Many see Maddon ending up in Chicago with the Cubs as Theo Epstein has been chasing him for many years now. With former Padres coach Rick Renteria currently the manager of the Cubs, it would be smart for current San Diego manager Bud Black to watch Maddon rumors very closely. 

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Rick Renteria was praised all season for his work with the Cubs. His players love him and he’s been excellent with the club’s younger players like Javier Baez, Starlin Castro and Jorge Soler. He helped an inexperienced team show a lot of improvement and was able to coax the absolute best

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from his pitchers. But Maddon may be the best manager in the game and the Cubs, believe it or not, expect to compete in 2015 and may feel like having him as a manager gives them the best chance to win. If that’s the case and they’re able to persuade Maddon to sign there, that would mean Renteria would be cut loose and would likely look to find a manager’s position for the 2015 campaign. The Padres may be willing to bring back their old coach to serve a bigger role with the club.

We all know that the Padres hired A.J. Preller to be their General Manager. When that move was initially announced, many thought he’d replace Bud Black with his own manager. So it was relatively surprising when Preller announced that Black would be his guy going forward. But here’s the thing… if Renteria is let go by Chicago, he would be a better choice as skipper for the Friars. Why? Well Preller is getting ready to gear the team through a rebuilding process that will put an emphasis on youth and the international talent market specifically Latin America, an area that Preller has specialized in.

Renteria has been praised for his work with young talent and speaks both Spanish and English (He managed Team Mexico during the 2013 World Baseball Classic). A team that already includes Spanish-speaking stars like Yasmani Grandal, Yangervis Solarte, Rymer Liriano, Odrisamer Despaigne, Everth Cabrera among others with more and more international-born prospects waiting in the minors, someone like Renteria could be extremely valuable to this team.

It seems like all we do is talk about how Black is likely going to be ousted. In reality he’s done nothing wrong. Were he to be dismissed it would be due to Preller wanting his own man at the helm. In this case Renteria would truly be a better option for the Padres going forward. Young players respond to his tutelage and his bilingual ability allows him to avoid miscommunications that seem to find teams far too often. Joe Maddon’s best fit appears to be with the Cubs, and if he ended up there, it would send at least one manager packing. Would Bud Black then follow?