Joe Maddon leaves Tampa Bay Rays


Sep 24, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon (70) looks on during the sixth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

In a bit of important American League baseball news, Joe Maddon exercised an opt-out of his contract with the Tampa Bay Rays as their manager and is no longer with the team.

In a press release by the Rays, a statement by Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg says:

"“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.”"

Against the Rays this season, the White Sox had a winning record of 5-2, with the Rays scoring just 26 runs in their seven games against each other. The White Sox scored 40 runs in their two series against each other.

This comes as a surprise to a certain degree, and most certainly affects the entire American League in a way. Maddon is one of the best managers in all of baseball, and his next decision will also have an effect on not just the AL, but MLB in general.

Thoughts on Maddon leaving the Rays?