Joe Maddon was back in the Tampa Bay area for a charity event in St. Petersburg, Fla., and talked to the Tampa Bay Times about a variety of topics. There were some intriguing Cubs-related nuggets included.
For starters, Maddon said he plans to be "a little more hands-on" in terms of on-field coaching work in 2019.
"I've always kind of stayed free of coaching because I really want to stay out of coaches' way so they can do their job," Maddon told Marc Topkin in the article. "I've always felt that is the right way to do it. But this year I'm going to get a little more hands-on involved in actually coaching."
Perhaps the most interesting thing Maddon said was that he isn't thinking of himself as a lame duck entering 2019, but rather a free agent.
"Lame duck or free agent, are they synonymous terms? Players go into that year annually," Maddon said. "Good players go into a season without a contract for the next year. Why would I feel any different as a manager than a good player does, a (Manny) Machado or a (Bryce) Harper, whatever. You could say 'lame duck' or you could use 'free agent.' I think they are both the same term."
Without the context of that quote, it could sound like Maddon is on his way out of the North Side after 2019. However, it does sound like he is simply keeping his options open in the way a free agent player would. Either way, Maddon said he does plan to keep managing beyond 2019. How the upcoming season with the Cubs plays out will likely determine if that future is with the Cubs or elsewhere.