Theo Epstein doesn't necessarily agree with former manager Joe Maddon's assertion that he wanted to leave the team after his contract was up, regardless of whether or not the Chicago Cubs wanted him back.

"That would conflict with some of the things that he and his agent were saying and doing toward the end of the season," Epstein said Tuesday. "If that's how he feels, I'm not going to dispute it. That doesn't reflect the conversations we were having."

Epstein later added: "I love Joe. Nothing is going to get in the way of that. I don't think he meant any ill will with his comments."

After leaving the Cubs, Maddon signed a four-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels, the organization that previously employed him for decades as a player and then a coach.