Olney made his “Top 10 Storylines to Watch in 2014” and featured the Dodgers with his sixth-best story:
6. The Los Angeles Dodgers and Don Mattingly
In the last three months, the Dodgers have made the postseason, won a playoff series and have had two major press gatherings for Manager Don Mattingly — and there is still no clarity on his status. Will he manage 2014 as a lame duck? If Mattingly gets the extension that was discussed earlier this offseason, will he still be managing for his job, as he runs as team in win-now mode? Is he actually safe?
We really don’t have any answers yet, and while nobody is talking about exactly where this cold war stands, the fact that it continues is a statement in itself.
After talks of a contract extension following the now-infamous post-season press conference with Mattingly and GM Ned Colletti, the Dodgers haven’t made any public reference to a new deal for their manager. The team heads into next season as a top contender and may not believe that Mattingly is the man to lead them back to the World Series for the first time since 1988.
Olney also mentioned a couple of key Dodger players in his ninth-best story featuring contract situations:
Clayton Kershaw deferred a decision when the Dodgers’ approached him last summer about what would essentially be a lifetime deal, for $300 million, and he has staggering leverage after winning his second Cy Young Award, as he heads toward free agency next fall.
The Dodgers already have had some conversations about a new multi-year deal with Hanley Ramirez.
Kershaw has one more year left before he can hit free agency and has hinted that he would like to test the free agent waters. The Dodgers would be better off getting a deal done soon for their ace and not allow him to reach free agency. With Ramirez, the Dodgers may be closer to a deal because of the significantly lower asking price and the shortstop’s words about wanting to remain in Los Angeles. The Dodgers could steal the off-season by locking up the two superstars.
ICYMI: The Dodgers and Jamey Wright agreed to a one-year deal