The Dodgers just won their third National League West title in as many years under Dave Roberts, though the manager’s future beyond this season still isn’t known yet. The deal Roberts signed when he took the helm in November 2015 includes an option for next season, which the club hasn’t exercised. The Dodgers could instead ink Roberts to a new pact if they’re interested in keeping him for the long haul, and Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that the two sides have indeed begun contract talks. There’s mutual respect between Roberts and Dodgers management, Shaikin relays, and the 46-year-old has the confidence of chairman Mark Walter. Asked if the Dodgers would give Roberts long-term security, Walter said, “I don’t see any reason why not.” The results under Roberts are hard to argue with – in addition to their three division titles on his watch, the Dodgers have won an NL pennant (in 2017) and combined for a 287-200 regular-season record.
Now the latest from the NL East…
- There are anywhere from 10 to 12 “serious candidates” for the Mets’ general manager opening, Jon Heyman of Fancred tweets, adding that Kim Ng may be among the names. If the Mets hire Ng, Major League Baseball’s senior vice president for baseball operations, she’d become the first woman to hold a GM job in professional sports. Ng comes with plenty of front office experience and has drawn GM interest in the past, most recently from the Diamondbacks in 2016.
- It “appears highly questionable” the Marlins will tender a contract to Derek Dietrich in the offseason, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes. Seeing Dietrich hit free agency early would be a surprise, considering he’s fresh off his third straight solid offensive season, capable of playing multiple positions and arbitration eligible for another two years (he’s set to earn a raise over his current salary of $2.9MM in 2019). The 29-year-old hit .265/.330/.421 (109 wRC+) with 16 home runs in 551 plate appearances this season, all while racking up significant time in left field and at first base. Dietrich has also garnered a fair amount of experience at second and third base since he debuted in 2013.
- Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com provides a primer on Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper’s upcoming trip to free agency, listing several teams that could pursue the soon-to-be 26-year-old if he leaves the Nats. However, there’s real affection between the Nationals and Harper, notes Zuckerman, which could lead to a re-signing. Zuckerman wonders if Washington would be better off using the money it would allocate to Harper on multiple other areas of the roster, though, pointing out that the club would likely boast a quality outfield even without the six-time All-Star. Should Harper depart, the Nats wouldn’t receive much in the way of compensation, as Zuckerman writes. Assuming it stayed under the $197MM competitive-balance tax this year, Washington would get a compensatory pick before the third round of the 2019 draft. Otherwise, the team would land a selection after the fourth round.