Manager Don Mattingly continues to negotiate with the Dodgers for a multiyear… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)
Don Mattingly doesn't look as if he will be a lame-duck manager again this year.
Mattingly and the Dodgers are finalizing an agreement that would extend his contract beyond the upcoming season, according to people familiar with the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal hasn't been completed.
Mattingly's current deal is guaranteed through the 2014 season. The contract was originally set to expire at the end of last season, but was automatically extended by another year when the Dodgers advanced to the National League Championship Series.
Rather than be relieved, Mattingly practically demanded a contract extension at the end of the season. Of his lame-duck status, he said, "Really what it does, it puts me in a spot where everything that I do is questioned because I'm basically trying out or auditioning to say, 'Can he manage or can he not manage?' To me, it's at that point where, three years in, you either know or you don't."
At baseball's winter meetings last month, Mattingly said he stood by his comments from the awkward end-of-the-season news conference. However, he described himself as "comfortable" and said he was satisfied with the nature of his conversations with the team's owners.
After the 2012 season, the Dodgers declined to exercise Mattingly's 2014 option, which made the third-year manager's status a consistent storyline all season. The speculation turned out to be warranted, as Mattingly revealed that President Stan Kasten warned him he could be fired when the Dodgers were in last place early in the season.
Mattingly, 52, finished second in voting for NL manager of year after the Dodgers overcame their slow start to win their division. Mattingly is 260-225 in his three seasons as Dodgers manager.