Maddon, Rays reach contract extension

Posted Feb. 14, 2012, at 6:31 p.m.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Joe Maddon insisted all along that he wasn’t interested in managing any other team than Tampa Bay.

And apparently the Rays feel the same about Maddon. A person familiar with the deal said Tuesday that the Rays and Maddon had agreed on a three-year contract extension after the manager led the Rays to the playoffs three of the past four seasons.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the team had not yet made an official announcement. The Rays have scheduled a news conference at Tropicana Field to make a “special announcement” on Wednesday.

The Rays are 495-477, have won two AL East titles and made the playoffs three times in six seasons under the 58-year-old Maddon. They made their only World Series appearance in 2008 and lost to the Texas Rangers in the divisional round the past two years.

Maddon had one year remaining on a three-year extension he signed in May 2009. The day after the Rays bowed out of the playoffs in October he said he was confident that he would remain with Tampa Bay for years to come, stressing that he had no desire in potentially winding up somewhere else after the 2012 season.

Discussions on a new contract began in December, and the deal was finalized Tuesday.

Maddon was hired as the fourth manager in franchise history in November 2005 and has helped transform the budget-conscious Rays from a perennial loser into a club that’s proven that despite having one of the lowest payrolls in the game they can compete consistently in the AL East with the big-spending New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.

The Rays won arguably baseball’s toughest division in 2008 and 2010. They took advantage of Boston’s historic collapse to overcome a nine-game deficit in September to earn the AL wild-card on the final night of last season.

Under Maddon’s guidance, the Rays have averaged 90 wins over the past four seasons. The stretch follows one in which Tampa Bay averaged 90-plus losses the previous four years.

Before Maddon’s arrival from the Los Angeles Angels, where he was Mike Scioscia’s bench coach, the Rays were 518-775 under the team’s first three managers.

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