After two seasons as a special assistant to the general manager, Greg Maddux is leaving the Cubs, according to major league sources. He may soon be named to a similar position with the Texas Rangers, joining his older brother Mike, who has been the Rangers’ pitching coach for three seasons.
Mike Maddux interviewed for the Cubs’ managerial position and appeared to be a frontrunner before pulling his name out of consideration on Nov. 16, shortly before the Cubs did a hasty second interview with Dale Sveum, who they agreed to terms with on Nov. 17.
Theo Epstein, the Cubs’ president of baseball operation, declined comment on Maddux. The Cubs had hoped Maddux would remain beyond the transition to Epstein but will not stand in his way if he joins the Rangers.
Evan notes that Maddux's primary role within the Cubs organization was working with both minor and major league pitchers on developing "technique and philosophy" (though his title also called for some in-season pro scouting duties and occasional input on trades and acquisitions), but when the Great Cubs Front Office Housecleaning of 2011 went down, Maddux's role was plunged into a state of flux, and now it appears that he's splitting town for a similar role with the Rangers.
In truth, this isn't the kind of acquisition that's going to reap plainly apparent rewards right off the bat. Yeah, we'll take note if future reports surface indicating that Maddux and a specific Rangers pitcher have formed a legitimate bond, but somebody in an advisory role like that is typically going to be insulated from the press as far as the kind of work they do on a day-to-day basis. Put differently, we're not going to be getting a constant stream of in-season reports about Maddux working with X group of pitchers, or scouting Y teams, as that kind of news tends to approximate more of a bottom-story footnote than something that most fans are really and truly interested in.
So, this is a headline-generating story, and it's something to get excited about insofar as the Rangers are poaching front-office talent from another powerful organization ... but beyond that, we're not going to be hearing a whole lot about Maddux and his day-to-day responsibilites.
One thing I do wonder about, though, is if this is being driven in any way by a motivation to keep Mike Maddux in Texas, under the belief that bringing his brother into the organizational fold can only help strengthen his loyalty to the Rangers if/when opportunites for advancement up the coaching ranks present themselves in the future. That is a pretty easy conclusion to arrive at, but this could be just a tiny bit about the family connection, and far, far more about the Rangers as a whole believing in Greg's talent.