Dodgers have talked extension with manager Don Mattingly

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Dodgers manager Don Mattingly is entering the final chapter of a three-year contract that he signed in 2010. So it’s time to start printing more pages.

According to beat writer Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, Dodgers officials have spoken to Mattingly recently “about a new contract,” though there’s no hurry to get anything done this spring.

“We’ve talked to Don a lot about what he does and doesn’t want right now,” Dodgers chairman Mark Walter said Saturday at the team’s spring training complex in Arizona. “I think you might see something come up before the end of the year.”

Mattingly holds a 168-155 managerial record in his two seasons with the Dodgers. That’s all well and good, but the stakes are significantly higher now that the club boasts the largest payroll in the major leagues.

Mattingly does hold an option for 2014, but the Dodgers don’t want to pick it up quite yet.

Jon Gray will start Opening Day for the Rockies

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Manager Bud Black has tabbed Jon Gray to start on Opening Day for the Rockies. That will be Monday, April 3 in Milwaukee against the Brewers in an afternoon contest.

Gray, 25, is starting Opening Day for the first time in his career. He’ll be the sixth different Rockies pitcher to start Opening Day in as many years.

The Rockies and Gray had a bit of a scare on Friday as he left his spring training start with discomfort in his left foot, but everything came up clean in an MRI. He pitched again on Wednesday with no issue.

Last season, Gray went 10-10 with a 4.61 ERA and a 185/59 K/BB ratio in 168 innings. A consensus top prospect entering each of the previous three seasons, Gray surprisingly put up better numbers at Coors Field — the most hitter-friendly park in baseball — than away.

Blake Treinen named Nationals closer

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Today Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker named Blake Treinen as his closer. Treinen has saved exactly one big league game.

There wasn’t necessarily an obvious choice, however. Last year Washington had Mark Melancon, but with him gone and GM Mike Rizzo’s failure to land a high-profile closer in the offseason, it became a contest between Treinen Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover.

Treinen posted a 2.28 ERA with 31 walks and 63 Ks in 67 innings in 2016. His big improvement last year came against lefties, who had tattooed him in the past. He pitched well this spring as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

The Nats are our favorites to win the NL East, but we do have some questions about the pen. Blake Treinen will take the first crack at answering them.