To the surprise of absolutely no one, Pittsburgh’s Clint Hurdle was the runaway winner of the National League’s Manager of the Year award. The Dodgers’ Don Mattingly finished second with two first-place votes.
More importantly, Mattingly told the MLB Network in the moments leading up to the MOY announcement that he is engaged in negotiations on a new contract.
“We’re in talks right now, and things are going good,” said Mattingly, who went on to say he is optimistic that something will get done soon.
It already was known that Mattingly’s 2014 option had been picked up by the club — the option vested when the Dodgers reached the N.L. Championship Series — and despite Mattingly’s statements a few weeks ago that “that doesn’t mean I’ll be back,” the Dodgers announced a few days later that he would be. But Mattingly had made it clear he didn’t want to manage a second consecutive season without job security for the following season, and a contract extension would mean he wouldn’t have to in 2014.
In other developments, the Dodgers finally confirmed to the media today that pitcher Onelki Garcia underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow last Friday and that he will be “competitive” by the start of the regular season. That probably rules him out for the opening-day roster because, if I’m interpreting that correctly, he won’t be ready to pitch in spring training. … And the Dodgers have hired Roy Clark away from the Washington Nationals, according to Keith Law. That’s the former Braves scouting director Roy Clark, not the guy from HeeHaw. No announcement yet from the Dodgers, so it isn’t clear what Clark’s role will be, but he was an assistant GM with the Nats. And, as you may have guessed from his history with the Braves and Nationals, he is a close associate of Dodgers president Stan Kasten. … The Dodgers have signed minor league free-agent catcher J.C. Boscan to a minor league contract, meaning he’ll probably be at Triple-A Albuquerque. He also is a surefire spring-training invitee because teams always invite a boatload of catchers to spring training for a very simple reason — they need them to catch all the bullpens. … And finally, Ron Cervenka, who runs the Dodgers blog site ThinkBlueLA.com, tweeted earlier today that he has confirmation from a team source that pitchers and catchers will report to spring training on Feb. 5. If that seems awfully early, and it does, it’s because the Dodgers will break camp on March 16 to fly to Sydney, Australia, for their season-opening, two-game series there with the Diamondbacks.