“I’d love to be back, especially if they want you back,” said Mattingly, whose contract will expire at season’s end.
Marlins owner Derek Jeter acknowledged that Mattingly’s future is “something that we need to talk about sooner rather than later. We have touched base, and we’ll continue to talk.” To this point, though, the Marlins haven’t taken time to decide on whether they’ll make a change in the dugout, according to Jeter.
Going solely by win-loss record, it’s been a rather poor Miami tenure for Mattingly, whose teams have assembled a 263-339 mark. But judging by record wouldn’t be fair to Mattingly, who has tried to weather especially tempestuous times as the Marlins’ skipper. The franchise looked to be making progress in his first year on the job, a 79-win campaign, but it lost ace Jose Fernandez in a boating accident that September. The next season – an MVP-winning effort for outfielder Giancarlo Stanton – the Marlins hung in wild-contention late into the summer before falling apart and finishing 77-85.
Jeter and Bruce Sherman took over for the reviled Jeffrey Loria as the Marlins’ owners after the 2017 season, and they then launched the organization into a full rebuild. Since then, the Marlins have slashed a huge amount of payroll – not to mention big league talent – by trading the likes of Stanton, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and J.T. Realmuto. In the process, the Marlins have rebuilt a once-dreadful farm system into an impressive group, but Mattingly hasn’t really been in position to benefit from that. The MLB club has gone 107-172 dating back to 2018.
If the Marlins do move on from Mattingly after the season, it’ll represent one former Yankees captain waving goodbye to another. Mattingly held the role with the Yankees until he retired in 1995. Jeter, who debuted in Mattingly’s final season, took over as New York’s captain in 2003. Should Jeter part with him, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Mattingly draw managerial interest from elsewhere at the outset of the offseason. He’s a respected presence in the game who, before landing in Miami, enjoyed a decent run as the Dodgers’ manager from 2011-15.