A day after losing their general manager to the San Francisco Giants, the Dodgers picked up the team option on manager Dave Roberts’ contract for the 2019 season on Wednesday, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman announced.
Both sides view exercising the option, which is for $1.1 million, as a means to continue discussions on a long-term contract.
“Nothing’s changed. We remain extremely optimistic,” Friedman said.
“We’ve just kind of set it off to the side for a little bit as we work through all our coaches and the vacancies we have there. So nothing’s changed.”
Los Angeles had until Wednesday – 10 days after the season’s conclusion – to pick up the option, which could be erased with a new deal. Roberts is seeking a four-year commitment, perhaps comparable to the four-year, $12 million contract A.J. Hinch received from the Houston Astros in August. Like Roberts, Hinch was in the third year of his first contract and had a team option for 2019.
Already with two holes to fill on the coaching staff, Friedman also revealed game-planning/communications coach Danny Lehmann will not return in 2019. He joins third-base coach Chris Woodward and hitting coach Turner Ward as departing members of Roberts’ staff. Woodward became the Texas Rangers’ manager last weekend and Ward left for the Cincinnati Reds for the same job.
On Tuesday, general manager Farhan Zaidi accepted an offer to become the Giants’ president of baseball operations. Twenty-four hours later, Friedman said he hadn’t started contemplating whom will replace Zaidi – if the club decides to formally replace him at all.
“I haven’t really wrapped my arms around it,” Friedman said.
“Farhan was struggling, deliberating over the weekend and into yesterday. There was so much other stuff going on that I didn’t really start to wrap my arms around it. Now I will. But I’m not concerned about the near-term workflow with the guys that we have. Guys can step up, which is great.”