By Bruce Levine–
MESA, Ariz. (CBS) — Word that he’s now become the highest-paid manager in baseball along with two other contemporaries was news to Cubs manager Joe Maddon on Thursday.
“That can’t be,” Maddon responded to a question about it.
Maddon’s annual pay for the last three years of his deal with the Cubs has escalated from $5 million to $6 million because of a clause that kicked in after winning the World Series, Jon Heyman of Fanrag Sports reported Thursday morning. That $6 million figures matches what Angels manager Mike Scioscia and Giants manager Bruce Bochy make.
Maddon didn’t know that was the case until informed by reporters.
“I did not know that,” Maddon said. “That is all good, but to be honest, I have never seen one of my paychecks. When this all came about (signing a five-year deal with the Cubs in November 2014), my first thought was the more you make the more you can give back. That is simple and pretty much where I have been working from. That is the concept since I have been here.”
After leading the Cubs to 97 wins in 2015 and 103 wins and a title in 2016, Maddon will be paid $18 million over the final three years of his contract. He supports and leads a number of charitable causes that are near and dear to his heart.
“I guess in some way it’s an honor to be in that position,” Maddon said. “Also it is a function of where I work too.”
Thursday’s occasion led the 63-year-old Maddon to harken back to his long journey through the game.
“My first job in baseball I earned $12,000,” Maddon said. “That was in 1981. By 1987, I was making $40,000 or something like that.
“By the early 2000s, I really had nothing to show for 20 years of work. Fortunately, things have broken in the right direction. It takes 30 to 40 years to become an overnight success. I always tell my kids to really respect and enjoy the struggle. If you do and you get to this point, then you can really respect and what is going on. I am really grateful and have a fine appreciation for where I am at. The biggest take away for me is the more you make, the more you can give away.”
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.