Don Mattingly set to talk contract
The Los Angeles Dodgers intend to begin dialogue with manager Don Mattingly on a new contract in the next few days, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.
Earlier Wednesday, Mattingly's agent said the manager was expected to honor the final year of his contract.
Dodgers president Stan Kasten was confident Mattingly would be back.
"I've always thought that [he was coming back next year]. I've never had any doubt about that," Kasten said.
The Dodgers won't have anything to say on the matter until after the World Series, a source said, respecting the long-held tradition of embargoing major news during the sport's most important event.
"He's under contract. He was able to say his piece at the press conference and he's looking forward to continuing his relationship with the Dodgers," Mattingly's agent, Ray Schulte, told ESPNLosAngeles.com on Wednesday.
"It would be nice to have it resolved soon."
Schulte said he expects to meet with Kasten in the next "few days."
"We feel confident Stan will be reaching out to to Don within a few days, but we don't know his timetable," Schulte said. "We understand the Dodgers won't be making any comments concerning those conversations until after the completion of the World Series."
Mattingly put pressure on the front office during a news conference Monday -- with general manager Ned Colletti at his side, no less -- to either extend him a multiyear contract offer or to move on without him, saying he had been frustrated with his status as a "lame-duck" manager during the season.
The final year and $1.4 million of Mattingly's three-year contract vested after the Dodgers advanced to the National League Championship Series.
Before Mattingly went into the news conference Monday, he'd been given no indication of whether the club intended to extend his contract beyond next season, in effect putting him in the same "lame-duck" position as 2013. That played a part in his decision to express his frustration with the situation publicly.
"Donnie feels like he was able to say his piece, he did it for the betterment of the organization and now it's out there. Hopefully we can make this a positive and move forward," Schulte said. "Right now he's at home, he's waiting to hear from Stan and to talk about the future.
"There's no unrest, there's no bitterness or unhappiness. He's a big boy and he's going to deal with it and do what's best for the organization."
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While Mattingly flew home to Indiana on Tuesday, Kasten was meeting with Dodgers chairman Mark Walter to discuss the situation. Kasten's meeting with Walter had been previously planned as part of general end-of-season evaluations, not as a reaction to Mattingly's comments.
Kasten said Monday that he was approaching the situation calmly and as part of the normal evaluation process.
On Tuesday morning, bench coach Trey Hillman, a close friend of Mattingly's, was informed that the Dodgers would not exercise their option on his contract for next season. The rest of the Dodgers' staff was retained for next season, a strange move if the club was considering replacing Mattingly; a new manager would ostensibly want to hire his own staff.
While Mattingly's comments took the baseball world -- including the Dodgers -- by surprise, the support for him within the organization has remained strong, sources said. Colletti maintained he had "a lot of respect" for Mattingly on Monday, adding, "I've been a supporter of his since the day he walked in as a hitting coach six years ago."
Mattingly also has maintained a very close relationship with Walter, sources indicated.
While Kasten has generally deferred questions about Mattingly's contract to the offseason, he has publicly and privately supported him numerous times throughout the season, even as the Dodgers stumbled out of the gates and fell 9½ games out of first place on June 21.
The Dodgers then went on a franchise-best 42-8 run over the next 50 games and wound up winning the NL West by 11 games before losing in the NLCS.
Information from ESPNLosAngeles.com's Mark Saxon contributed to this report.
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