It had been rumored and expected for quite some time, but Joe Maddon is finally coming home.
On Wednesday morning, the Los Angeles Angels announced that Maddon has been hired as their new manager, replacing the fired Brad Ausmus.
OFFICIAL: The Los Angeles Angels have agreed to terms with manager Joe Maddon. pic.twitter.com/PKZHBaljl8— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) October 16, 2019
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that it was a three-year pact for Maddon, who had spent the previous four years with the Chicago Cubs. Maddon also managed the Angels on an interim basis in 1996 and 1999.
Maddon joined the Angels in 1975 after his playing career, and he went on to manage some of their farm teams - including the Idaho Falls Angels and the Class AA Midland Angels. He was on the team's staff when they won the 2002 World Series - the only one in franchise history.
A three-time manager of the year, Maddon has Hall of Fame credentials in over a decade of managerial experience. He has 1,252 career wins on his resume, and Maddon led the Cubs to a World Series championship in 2016 - their first in 108 years.
Prior to Chicago, Maddon spent nine seasons as manager of the Rays (2006 to 2014). He took the Rays to the World Series in 2008, where they fell to the Philadelphia Phillies in five games. Maddon also guided them to a 2010 AL East Division title plus wild card berths in 2011 and 2013.
Maddon left the Rays to manage the Cubs in 2015, and he quickly turned them into an NL juggernaut. They reached the NLCS three straight years from 2015 to '17, while earning a 2018 NL wild card spot. But after the Cubs unraveled late in the 2019 season to miss the playoffs, Maddon and the organization parted ways - setting the stage for him to come back home to the Angels.
Maddon Is The Perfect Hire For The Angels
The Angels have the best player in baseball, Mike Trout, but they've only made the playoffs once since his 2012 rookie season. The team can't afford to waste Trout's prime years any longer, and that shouldn't happen under Maddon's guidance. He has an excellent history of turning struggling clubs into playoff teams. There's little reason to think he won't do the same with a player of Trout's caliber on his roster.