Joe Maddon’s run as manager of the Chicago Cubs has come to an end, the club announced Sunday.
The news came ahead of the Cubs’ season finale against rival St. Louis Cardinals.
Maddon’s five-year contract was set to end this season. He has managed the Cubs for five seasons beginning November 2014.
Theo Epstein, president of baseball operations, told reporters on Sunday that the two split a bottle of wine and spent 30 to 40 minutes on Saturday night “celebrating an unbelievable five year run.”
“In a way, bad news, but also good news at the same time,” Maddon told reporters. “We’re both going to move on, the Cubs are going to flourish, hopefully I get a chance to do this somewhere else. But there’s no tears shed. It’s a good moment for everybody, and we’re both excited about our futures.”
Epstein called Maddon a lifelong friend and said he believes there will be a bidding war for the now-former manager’s services.
“We both agreed that it’s time and that this type of change is a win-win,” Epstein said.
Maddon played a crucial role in ending Chicago’s 108-year World Series title drought. The Cubs won the World Series title in 2016.
The former manager was named “Manager of the Year” three times, twice with the Tampa Bay Rays and once with Cubs. He also led the Cubs to win at least 90 games during four seasons, leading to one of the most successful periods in Cubs history.