At the end of the 2013 season, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly and GM Ned Colletti had one of the more awkward press conferences in recent memory. Mattingly announced that his vesting option for 2014 went into effect after the Dodgers beat the Braves in the NLDS, but said he didn’t want to be a “lame duck” manager moving forward.
Since then, there were some talks about an extension getting done, but the Dodgers and Mattingly have been relatively quiet about things. However, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, a deal is expected to be done soon:
Sources: #Dodgers making progress on Mattingly extension. Deal expected to be done soon.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 6, 2014
2013 saw the Dodgers go from 30-42 to winning the NL West by double digits and going on a historic 42-8 run through the summer. While many believe it’s a no-brainer to lock up the 52-year-old manager, there are some within the Dodgers organization who aren’t sold on his in-game strategy.
Thus, bench coach Trey Hillman was let go of his duties and third base coach Tim Wallach will join Mattingly in the dugout after he failed to land a managerial job for the second straight off-season. Whether it was double-switching Adrian Gonzalez in Game 1 of the NLCS or intentionally walking Reed Johnson to get to Jason Heyward, it still looks like Mattingly is learning on the job.
If the Mattingly extension gets done, the Dodgers also have to worry about extending shortstop Hanley Ramirez and ace Clayton Kershaw. Getting a deal done with Ramirez sounds like it’s the more likely during the off-season, with Kershaw reportedly wanting to test the market.
Rosenthal also said on MLB Network Radio that he wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a three-year deal as the Dodgers are clearly showing Mattingly theyr’re committed to him for the long-term.
UPDATE: Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com says the deal is in the home stretch:
Baseball note: Word is Don Mattingly's extension w/ Dodgers is in the home stretch. KR & LAT reported progress earlier
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) January 6, 2014
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