Don Mattingly is moving to a different coast and a new payroll neighborhood.
Mattingly was hired as manager of the Miami Marlins less than a week after he parted with the Los Angeles Dodgers, two people familiar with the situation said Thursday. The people confirmed the hiring to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the decision hadn’t been announced.
Mattingly, who interviewed for the job Monday, will face a big adjustment regarding resources. The Dodgers led the majors by far this year with a payroll of $289.6 million at the end of the regular season; the Marlins ranked last at $64.9 million, and little change is expected in 2016.
While Mattingly finished above .500 in each of his five seasons in Los Angeles, the Marlins are coming off their sixth consecutive losing season. They went 71-91 and finished third in the NL East, 19 games behind the NL champion New York Mets.
The Marlins were riddled by injuries, however, and their roster is full of young, talented players, led by slugger Giancarlo Stanton, ace Jose Fernandez and NL batting champion Dee Gordon.
“They don’t have a $300 million payroll in Miami,” said Mets manager Terry Collins, who was in New York preparing for Game 3 of the World Series. “But they got pretty good players down there, believe me. They’ve got a good team.”
Mattingly went 446-363 in five years with the Dodgers and won the NL West the past three years, but he went 8-11 in the postseason. The Dodgers have not reached the World Series since winning the title in 1988, and lost to the New York Mets this year in the NL Division Series.
In Miami, Mattingly succeeds Dan Jennings, who made the unusual move from general manager to manager in May.
Mattingly becomes the Marlins’ 10th manager – including Jack McKeon for two stints – since Jeffrey Loria bought the team in 2002. Erik Spoelstra has been coach of the Miami Heat since 2008, while Loria has had seven managers during that time.
Ozzie Guillen‘s four-year contract with the Marlins finally came off the books this fall. He was fired after one year as manager in 2012. Mike Redmond, fired this year, remains under contract through 2017.
Loria persuaded Mattingly to enter the revolving door. Other candidates to be interviewed included former major league managers Manny Acta, Larry Bowa and Bo Porter.
Mattingly was a six-time All-Star and a .307 hitter with the New York Yankees from 1982 to 1995. Loria is a New Yorker and Yankees fan.
The hiring announcement might not come until after the World Series, and any delay will allow the Marlins to hold off until they can make a bigger splash in Miami with the news. It broke hours after the Heat won their season opener, and on the day the Dolphins play New England.
Republished with permission of The Associated Press.