Joe Maddon’s agent Alan Nero took issue with the Tampa Bay Rays and their reported interest in filing tampering charges against the Chicago Cubs, calling the accusation of tampering “really said and a bit insulting” in an interview with MLB Network Radio this weekend.

“It’s silly to suggest that,” Nero said. “If they wanna pursue that, that’s fine. It’s very unfortunate. In my world, when someone who’s part of your family has an opportunity to improve themselves, you give them your blessing, and allow them to move on, and know that they’re always welcome home.”

Nero told MLB Network Radio that Theo Epstein and the Chicago Cubs did all they could to make sure any contact they made with Maddon was legal.

“The first contact with the Cubs was basically an email asking for us to prove that there was an opt out, and Theo doing his due diligence,” Nero said. “He basically was in contact with the Commissioner’s Office, and wanted to make certain that there was approval. But prior to hearing from the Cubs, I mean literally, I had calls from 10 different teams with offers for front office opportunities, and very strong media opportunities, all of which would have allowed Joe to stay out a year, and allow him to basically commit himself to his charities for a year, and then wait for what appeared to be the best opportunity. Because at the time, the only job that was open was Minnesota.”

According to Nero, Maddon was willing to return to Tampa Bay on a hometown discount, but he and the Rays were still “far apart” on money.

“Our proposals to them, as far as my concern, were under market value. And Joe would’ve stayed had they stepped up,” Nero said. “By then, it was really apparent to Joe that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and he needed to basically make a decision that was right for him and his family, but oddly enough, more importantly, was Joe’s commitment to all of his charities. It became real to Joe that he’d be able to do more in the community both in Tampa, and Hazleton, Penn., and Chicago, than he was able to do prior to that. You just have to really understand Joe Maddon. The saying, ‘He’s one in a billion,’ is an understatement.'”

Nero did submit that Tampa may have done all they could on the offer front considering the team’s financial state.

“They did budge in their opinion [on the offer]. You have to understand their side of it and respect it,” Nero said. “They’re the lowest revenue team in baseball, they don’t have a world class baseball stadium, so their financial model is appropriate. But in the real world, if you’re the best manager in baseball and you can be the highest paid manager in baseball, and you can do a lot more for your family and all the charities you believe in, in the end, that became the reality. But I think in their opinion, they tried to negotiate a settlement; but it was so far from reality that it didn’t make sense.”

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