LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers made official on Wednesday a three-year contract for manager Don Mattingly through the 2016 season, ending the lame duck status Mattingly made clear in October that he didn't want to go through again like he did in 2013.
"I'm having to talk about things that don't have to do with us winning games," Mattingly said on Wednesday. "That, to me, complicates the whole mess."
Mattingly's 2014 option vested by reaching the National League Championship Series, but this new three-year deal replaces that. There are no options at the end of the deal.
Mattingly with his new contract will reportedly make more than the $1.4 million he was scheduled to receive in 2014, per Beth Harris of the Associated Press.
The press conference back on Oct. 21 at Dodger Stadium with Mattingly and general manager Ned Colletti was pretty awkward, with Mattingly letting off steam about his status, less than three days after the Dodgers were eliminated from the playoffs in St. Louis.
"When you're put in this position, the organization basically says we don't know if you can manage or not. That's not a great position to be in as manager," Mattingly said in October.
On Wednesday, Mattingly said he wished he would have handled the matter internally within the organization rather than with tape recorders and cameras running. But Colletti understood Mattingly's frustration.
"That day really came upon us in a rapid way at the end of our season. I think you'd have to live that experience to fully understand what that day is like and what the 48 hours prior are like, and the six, seven months prior to that," Colletti said. "I don't think anybody felt any differently from before that, after that, to today. It was always in our plans to do what we're announcing today, organizationally. It just took time to get it done the right way."
Colletti said that with the daily grind of the baseball season, and with the Dodgers extending their season well into October, there wasn't much time to discuss specifics of a new contract with Mattingly.
"We hadn't have a lot of time to focus and deal directly with that. That was coming," Colletti said. "Every day's focus becomes what comes next on the baseball field. It's a very dedicated and disciplined approach. The longer we played, the more involved we do get in preparation. ... That, as it should, took precedent over a lot of different things."
Even after the season, the contract talks moved slowly, but Colletti said that was by design as the club worked on roster moves first, with both he and Mattingly on the same page.
"We had other things to do as well. He knew where we were at, and we knew where he was it. As long as he knew that and we knew that, we didn't see a rush to do it," Colletti said. "We were probably done three weeks ago, with just some fine tuning."
As for other potential contract extensions, Colletti said he has talked to the agents for both Clayton Kershaw (Casey Close) and Hanley Ramirez (Adam Katz) but wouldn't elaborate.
But for now the extension for the manager is done, and everyone seems happy. Especially Mattingly, who played for 10 managers in his 14 seasons and values stability in the role.
"Just knowing the organization has confidence in me is important to me as a manager. You have to build respect personally with guys, and how you treat them is how you truly gain respect," Mattingly said. "But when the upper management shows you that respect, it sends the message to the players also that they trust and believe in him, and I think that makes your job easier."