In an interview with The Athletic, Epstein said that the team is pleased with Maddon’s performance, and that rumors his job could be in jeopardy are false.
“Joe is a terrific leader and partner, and we are thrilled with his job performance the last four years,” Epstein said. “Joe is under contract through 2019, and he is clearly in good standing with the organization.”
In a column this week, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale said that there were whispers that Maddon could be fired if the Cubs didn’t make a deep postseason run this season.
Maddon himself addressed those rumors both in a radio interview Tuesday and in his pregame press availability, and dismissed them.
“I don’t understand it. It’s very uninteresting to me,” he said. “I’m very happy with what I’m doing.”
Maddon signed a five-year contract with the Cubs prior to the 2015 season, and has repeatedly expressed a desire to continue managing with the team. According to reports, he won’t insist on signing a contract extension before next season, meaning that he could enter the final year of his deal without the job security that managers normally receive.
In his time with the Cubs, Maddon has led the team to a World Series championship and three straight appearances in the National League Championship Series, and the Cubs could potentially reach the playoffs for a fourth straight year, something the team has never accomplished.