Dodgers manager Dave Roberts tells Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times that he’s yet to discuss a contract extension with the team but hopes to do so this offseason. Roberts is under contract through the 2022 campaign already, so the team doesn’t necessarily need to feel any urgency to get a new agreement worked out, although it’s common for managers in good standing with their clubs to ink deals that avoid “lame duck” status (i.e. managing through the final season of a contract with no deal in place the following year). President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman tells Castillo that the Dodgers “fully expect [Roberts] to be a large part of our future success.” While the Dodgers obviously won’t repeat as World Series champions, they still won 106 games during the regular season and, as Castillo profiles, dealt with a significant slate of injuries to various key players throughout the regular season and the playoffs.
Some more notes o the Dodgers…
- Corey Seager will head into the open market for the first time in his career on the heels of a .306/.381/.545 showing across his past two seasons (147 games, 641 plate appearances, 148 wRC+). He missed two months this year after an errant fastball broke his hand, but his bat looks as good or even better than it did prior to 2018 Tommy John surgery. Seager spoke of the difficulty of facing the “unknown” that is free agency but also made clear he’d love to return to the Dodgers (video via Sportsnet L.A.). “Absolutely,” Seager replied when asked if he wants to return. “I grew up here. I’ve spent a lot of time here. I believe in what these guys do. I believe in how we go about it. Yeah, absolutely.”
- It’s a similar story for Kenley Jansen, who hopes to be a Dodger for life, writes Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times. Jansen’s decline in 2019-20 was a notable storyline for the Dodgers, but DiGiovanna explores how Jansen made some changes to his training regimen at the suggestion of director of team performance Brandon McDaniel. Jansen’s velocity and cutter movement rebounded in 2021, and he turned in a 2.22 ERA through 69 innings of relief. That said, Jansen’s strikeout, swinging-strike and chase percentages were at or below their 2020 levels, and his walk rate jumped to 12.9 percent — his highest rate since his rookie year back in 2010. Teammates Trea Turner (who faced Jansen as an opponent in the first half) and Clayton Kershaw discuss with DiGiovanna the manner in which Jansen has evolved as a pitcher since his days with a cutter-only approach. Another multi-year figures to be out there for Jansen, but given that he’ll pitch next year at 34, it figures to be a good bit shorter than the five-year pact he signed in the 2016-17 offseason.