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.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.