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Maddon confident he'll be back with Cubs in '20

CINCINNATI -- Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon's confidence level in returning to the team next year is "very high," he said on Sunday.

Maddon, 65, is in the final year of a five-year deal with the team, and his contract situation won't be decided until after the 2019 season.

"I'm operating like we'll be together for a couple more years, at least," Maddon said before his team played the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday. "I'm not going to sit and proclaim I'm looking to go elsewhere. That's not true."

But do the Cubs want him back? That remains to be seen, and in Maddon's mind, the decision won't necessarily come down to wins and losses.

"I really don't think it does, at all," he said. "It has nothing to do with wins and losses. If that's the case, I would have signed a contract at the end of last season. Our success is pretty good. You can't just reduce it to wins and losses. That makes no sense at all."

Entering the year, the Cubs had won the most regular-season games since 2015, the year Maddon took over. He's guided them to the postseason in each of the past four seasons while winning the 2016 World Series, the first for the Cubs in 108 years. But the end of 2018 didn't go well, and this season the Cubs are 22-35 on the road -- yet remain in first place thanks to a 41-19 home record. Maddon was asked what he thinks the decision regarding an extension will come down to.

"It's about interactions," he said. "It's about communication. It's about the ability to work together. That's what it comes down to."

Maddon has been more hands-on this year, while communicating with his players and the front office more often as well. He called the interactions "spectacular."

"This year I've taken it to a different level," Maddon said. "I want to be somewhere where I want to work, too. Everything about what we do with the Cubs, you can't beat it. It's impossible to beat. That's the allure for me."

Maddon reiterated his desire to manage to at least 70 years old. He signed a five-year, $25 million contract before the 2015 season, but that annual salary was bumped up to $6 million after the Cubs won the World Series.

"Again, if it was about wins and losses, this would be a moot point," Maddon said.