According to multiple reports, the Los Angeles Dodgers are in the final stages of hiring Dave Roberts to take over as the new manager.
Dylan Hernandez and Bill Shaikin of the LA Times were the first to report.
Roberts was most recently the bench coach of the San Diego Padres. He was considered a final candidate along with Gabe Kapler, who is the Dodgers’ farm director. Roberts becomes President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman’s first hire for Dodgers manager. He fired Don Mattingly after the season.
Roberts spent 10 years playing in the majors, including time with the Dodgers. The speedy runner set up the Boston Red Sox rally against the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS with a steal of second base in the ninth inning with the Red Sox trailing the series 3-0.
The 2008 season was his last, which is played for the San Francisco Giants. He was hired as the first base coach of the Padres in 2011.
Darin Erstad, Bud Black, Dave Martinez, Tim Wallach, Ron Roenicke, and Kirk Gibson were the other potential candidates throughout the hiring process.
Roberts will take over a team that has World Series-or-bust expectations with the highest payroll in baseball. Keeping the clubhouse together will be important for Roberts, especially if issues with outfielder Yasiel Puig come up like they did at times this season. That’s assuming Puig isn’t traded.