LOS ANGELES -- Joe Maddon, who opted out of his 2015 contract to manage the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday, will not be replacing Don Mattingly, according to Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.
"As I said last week, Joe and I enjoyed a tremendous relationship working together in Tampa Bay and I wish him nothing but the best wherever his next stop will be," said Friedman, Maddon's close friend and former boss with the Rays. "However, nothing has changed on our end and Don Mattingly will be our manager next season and hopefully for a long time to come."
Last week, responding to rumors that he would bring Maddon with him, Freidman said Mattingly "definitely" would manage the club in 2015 and that he intended to work with Mattingly "for a very long time."
Mattingly has two years remaining on his contract and has managed the Dodgers to back-to-back division titles. Maddon's decision comes on the heels of an ESPN.com report that Friedman received a five-year, $35 million contract to go from Tampa Bay to Los Angeles.
"In Joe's contract, he had the ability to opt out if certain events took place, and one of those was if Andrew Friedman wasn't an employee of the club," Rays president of baseball operations Matt Silverman said. "And the last several days, we worked with Joe to try and figure out a contract extension. And we engaged and made many offers and it became clear from his responses that it was not an exercise that was going to lead to an outcome, so he opted out yesterday. And we are turning the page to begin the process to look for a new manager."
Maddon told the Tampa Tribune that he left the Rays over financial issues and the curiosity about opportunities that might be available to him. He was signed to a three-year deal for a reported $6 million that was not set to expire until after next season.
After the Dodgers announced Friedman's hiring, Maddon said he wanted to remain in place, but left some wiggle room.
"I want to continue to be a Ray, absolutely," he said. "They have to want me to be a Ray, too. I'm really embedded here pretty well. The roots are pretty strong. We have a great infrastructure here. We have a great operation. We have great people. There's so much to like. There's only one negative. That's the ballpark. It's a big negative. But that's about it."
"We tried diligently and aggressively to sign Joe to a third contract extension prior to his decision," said Tampa Bay principal owner Stuart Sternberg in a release. "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."
Over nine seasons with the Rays, Maddon accumulated a record of 754-705 and led the team to two first-place finishes, and the American League pennant in 2008. He was named the AL Manager of the Year in 2008 and '11.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.