The Dodgers were supposed to be close to a new contract extension with Dave Roberts but there has still been no ink put to a new contract yet.
Back on November first, Andrew Friedman and former Dodger GM Farhan Zaidi held their end of the season press conference. When asked about Dave Roberts the front office duo said that talks were progressing and that they figured to have a new deal with Roberts made official soon. Since then, there has been plenty of turnover in the Dodgers’ organization.
Farhan Zaidi is now running the Giants front office and GM role, while countless other Dodger front office members have been poached from the Dodgers. Even with the turmoil, it seems puzzling why Dave Roberts has not been given an extension yet. There is no way the Dodgers are going to lame duck Roberts for the 2019 season right?
As it currently stands, Dave Roberts had his option for the 2019 season picked up so he is under contract for one more season. If the Dodgers were to let Roberts go after next season he would have no shortage of managerial opportunities. That speaks to the kind of Manager that Dave Roberts is.
Roberts is looking to sign a deal that is similar to Astros Manager AJ Hinch’s deal which is four years and approximately 12 million dollars. A very fair contract to one of the best managers in the National League. The argument could be made that Dave Roberts is the second best Manager in the NL after Joe Maddon.
While Maddon won a World Series with the Cubs, he has not been able to have his club replicate that success in recent years. Dave Roberts, on the other hand, has been to back to back World Series and the Dodgers are favorites to reach the World Series for a third consecutive season next year. Maybe the third time will be a charm for Dave Roberts and the Dodgers.
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Since taking the reigns in 2016, the Dodgers have finished with 91, 104, and 92 wins in his three seasons as Manager. The Dodgers made the postseason each of the three years and appeared in the World Series two out of Roberts’ three seasons at the helm. This season Roberts showed great leadership in keeping the Dodgers together for what was a tumultuous season.
After being as many as eleven games under 500, the Dodgers battled back even with injuries to their two best hitters in Corey Seager and Justin Turner. The Dodgers also burned through a few rotations worth of starting pitchers due to injuries but they eventually fought their way back into a tiebreaker game to end the season. Many teams would have folded but Dave Roberts helped keep the team afloat.
While many detractors will bring up Dave Roberts handling of the pitching staff in the postseason, it’s important to remember that he can only play the cards he is dealt. The Dodgers failed to acquire a top-tier setup reliever this season and Roberts was forced to use Jansen in two-inning stints. Jansen faltered and the blame gets pointed at Roberts.
The same is true for the 2017 World Series when Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen both helped blow multiple games. The Dodgers were put in a position to succeed but the players did not come through. Hopefully, the Dodgers and Dave Roberts reach an extension soon, as Dave Roberts has helped lead the team where it hadn’t been in almost thirty years, the World Series, twice.