The Dodgers and manager Don Mattingly are 'making progress' toward contract extension, per both Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports and Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, moving closer to the end of a bizarre offseason chapter for the team.
Mattingly had his 2014 option, worth $1.4 million, vest once the Dodgers beat the Braves in the 2013 NLDS, but in an awkward news conference at Dodger Stadium on Oct. 21, sitting next to general manager Ned Colletti, Mattingly said just because his option vested didn't mean he'd be back. After dealing with questions about his status for most of 2013, Mattingly didn't want lame duck status for a second year in a row.
"This has been a frustrating tough year, honestly. I think when you come in with a club like this, basically as a lame duck, with payroll and the guys that you have, it puts you in a tough spot in the clubhouse. We dealt with that all year long, and it puts me in a spot where everything I do is questioned. I'm basically trying out or auditioning," Mattingly said. "To me we've reached that point, three years in you either know or you don't."
However, as the offseason progressed Mattingly said he would honor his contract in 2014, and that the two sides were working toward a contract extension.
Mattingly, who turns 53 in April, is 260-225 (.536) with one division title in three seasons as Dodgers manager. His 2013 was a turbulent season, close to being fired as the Dodgers stumbled to a 30-42 start, but a 53-13 (.803) run over the next 10 weeks put the Dodgers firmly in control in the National League West.
After winning the division, Mattingly finished second in National League Manager of the Year voting.
Mattingly will return with his coaching staff nearly fully intact. The only changes are Tim Wallach moving from third base coach to bench coach replacing Trey Hillman, whose 2014 option wasn't exercised; and former Triple-A Albuquerque manager Lorenzo Bundy joining the major league staff as third base coach.