Maddon opts out of contract, leaves Rays

Fri Oct 24, 2014 4:30pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon has exercised an opt-out clause and has left the organization with one year remaining on his contract, the Major League Baseball team said on Friday.

Maddon, 60, compiled a 754-705 record over nine seasons with the Rays, leading them to four postseason berths and the American League pennant in 2008.

"We went back and forth a couple of times, and it didn’t want to work out,” Maddon told the Tampa Bay Times. "We were still too far apart."

The Rays went 77-85 this season, finishing 19 games out of first place in the American League East.

"We tried diligently and aggressively to sign Joe to a third contract extension prior to his decision," Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg said in a statement. "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."

Maddon, who was the American League Manager of the Year in 2008 and 2011, now becomes a free agent.

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Gene Cherry)