The Dodgers were contractually obligated to give Mattingly the job

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We now turn to the latest bit of evidence showing that the Dodgers couldn’t manage their way out of a paper bag. Dylan Hernandez reports the following:

Before the start of this season, Mattingly had signed a deal that guaranteed him the manager’s job if Torre stepped down.

Look — I’m not going to quibble too much with the choice of Mattingly as the Dodgers’ manager. He’s a great guy by all accounts. While he hasn’t managed, he’s been the right-hand man of a Hall of Fame manager for the last several years.  He may very well do a fine job there and, because I loved him as a player, I really hope he does.

But what kind of an organization binds itself into hiring a guy via a contractual succession clause like that?  What if the reason Joe Torre stepped down was because the entire team turned on him in a clubhouse revolt? The Dodgers would then have to either install Mattingly nonetheless or else buy him out, likely at a premium over and above what he would have been paid.

Or maybe that’s really it: maybe they locked Mattingly in like that because Mattingly agreed to do the job dirt cheap. I haven’t seen any reports of his salary yet — though I have heard that the deal is for three years — but perhaps it’s peanuts.

But apart from rank parsimony, there is no business or baseball justification that I can think of for pledging to hire someone like the Dodgers apparently pledged to hire Mattingly.  If the Dodgers have one, I do wish they’d share it with the rest of us.

Report: Mets have discussed a Matt Harvey trade with at least two teams

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Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reports that the Mets have discussed a trade involving starter Matt Harvey with at least two teams. Apparently, the Mets were even willing to move Harvey for a reliever.

The Mets tendered Harvey a contract on December 1. He’s entering his third and final year of arbitration eligibility and will likely see a slight bump from last season’s salary of $5.125 million. As a result, there was some thought going into late November that the Mets would non-tender Harvey.

Harvey, 28, made 18 starts and one relief appearance last year and had horrendous results. He put up a 6.70 ERA with a 67/47 K/BB ratio in 92 2/3 innings. Between his performance, his impending free agency, and his injury history, the Mets aren’t likely to get much back in return for Harvey. Even expecting a reliever in return may be too lofty.

Along with bullpen help, the Mets also need help at second base, first base, and the outfield. They don’t have many resources with which to address those needs. Ackert described the Mets’ resources as “a very limited stash of prospects” and “limited payroll space.”