The Los Angeles Dodgers have parted ways with manager Don Mattingly after five seasons, according to a report from CBS Sports. Jon Heyman reports that sources said the decision was "mutual" and that the Dodgers did not want to keep Mattingly for the long term.
Mattingly has been successful with the Dodgers, winning three straight division titles and finishing with a record over .500, but the team did not make it to the World Series during his time as manager. According to Jon Heyman, the Dodgers front office likes Mattingly "very much" and he reportedly "felt he was treated very well by baseball president Andrew Friedman," but that without long term support, "the sides ultimately decided it was better to move on."
Mattingly has been criticized at times for some of his managerial tactics and there were a couple moments in the NLDS against the Mets where his decisions were in the spotlight. Daniel Murphy was able to steal third when no one was covering the base during a shift and that allowed the Mets to take the lead in Game 5 and also during that game Mattingly was seen arguing with outfielder Andre Ethier. The Dodgers have spent $300 million on players and that is also a factor, as the team did not make a deep run in the playoffs despite spending that much money.
While that is not all on Mattingly, it's always easier to fire the manager than the players. Mattingly reportedly is a target for the Miami Marlins manager position and teams like the Nationals or Mariners could also be fits for the former Yankee. The Dodgers now need a new manager and they have other pressing matters heading into the offseason, including free agency, finding another starter and evaluating the roster.
The Dodgers have some important offseason decisions to make, as Zack Greinke is expected to opt out of his contract and could command at least $120-150 million on his next deal. The team likely will consider re-signing Greinke, but there is a chance he could leave for another team. The Dodgers rotation needs some more depth behind Clayton Kershaw and if Greinke signs back, LA could look at some mid-range free agents like Mike Leake or Jeff Samardzija.
David Price is considered a target for the Dodgers, as he was a name that was connected to the team at the trade deadline this past season. Price is expected to sign a major contract and he could command near $200 million on whatever deal he signs after another strong season. Price was traded to the Detroit Tigers last year and was moved to the Toronto Blue Jays in a deadline deal this season. Heyman reports that the Chicago Cubs, Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox could be potential targets for Price.