Mattingly inks deal
LOS ANGELES—Don Mattingly will be back as manager of the L.A. Dodgers this season with a new three-year contract that takes him through 2016, quieting speculation that his future with the club somehow was in doubt.
A person familiar with the agreement, speaking on condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized, said Mattingly is getting a raise from the $1.4 million he was to earn this season under his old deal.
Mattingly had sought the stability of a multi-year deal.
“I just want guys to know the organization has confidence in you is important to me as a manager,” he said by phone from his off-season home in Evansville, Ind.
Mattingly has a 260-225 record in his first three seasons with the Dodgers, who reached the NL championship series this year—automatically triggering an extension of his contract that was set to expire at the end of last season.
He was runner-up for NL Manager of the Year last season.
Last winter, the Dodgers declined to exercise Mattingly’s option for 2014—a move he believed portrayed him as a lame-duck in the clubhouse.
In an awkward October news conference after the Dodgers were eliminated by St. Louis in the playoffs, Mattingly said the organization put him in a difficult position by not exercising the option.
The front office didn’t clarify his status for 2014 that day, which frustrated Mattingly.
“It kind of got left open and that’s what got me going a little bit,” he noted.
“If I had to do all over again, I would have preferred it to be in-house,” Mattingly added.
“I wish I had kept it inside and dealt with it face-to-face with those guys.”
The next day, the team didn’t pick up the contract option of coach Trey Hillman, who was Mattingly’s right-hand man on the bench.
Shortly thereafter, Mattingly spoke with majority owner Mark Walter and team president Stan Kasten, who let him know they wanted him back.
General manager Ned Colletti said the deal was mostly done three weeks ago, but the club waited until after a flurry of off-season signings and the holidays ended to announce it.