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."
The Tampa Bay Rays have promoted Chaim Bloom and Erik Neander each to the position of Vice President, Baseball Operations. In their new roles, they will assist President, Baseball Operations Matt Silverman in all aspects of the department.