TODAY: Roberts and the Dodgers are in talks, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports, with the intent to have a new contract finalized prior to the start of the season.
FEBRUARY 9: Longtime Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is entering the last season of his contract, though it seems like an extension isn’t far off, as both Roberts and president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman told The Athletic’s Andy McCullough. “It’ll get done,” Roberts said, while Friedman said that “Doc has been a big part of our past success and I look forward to him being a big part of future success as well.”
There hasn’t been any indication that L.A. was planning any sort of managerial change, as Roberts has done nothing but win over his six years as the team’s skipper. Roberts has led the Dodgers to a 542-329 record during those six years, a run that includes five NL West titles, three pennants, and the crowning achievement of the 2020 World Series championship.
With the lockout halting most baseball-related activities, Roberts has been given a bit more of an opportunity to relax and “reset” during his offseason, as he told McCullough. It could be that an extension might have been struck earlier in the winter, though Roberts noted that he didn’t get in touch with Friedman prior to the lockout, given that the front office was naturally very busy in trying to finish more pressing matters before all Major League transactional business was halted.
Roberts joined the Dodgers back in November 2015, initially signing a three-year contract that contained a club option for the 2019 season. Following the end of the 2018 campaign (and the Dodgers’ loss to the Red Sox in the World Series), Los Angeles exercised that club option to lock Roberts up for 2019, and then in December 2018 announced a new four-year pact with Roberts covering the 2019-22 seasons. With that timeline in mind, it isn’t surprising that L.A. is again working essentially a year in advance to prevent Roberts from any sort of lame-duck status.