Don Mattingly is now available. That much was made clear Thursday when the Dodgers officially announced they were set to part ways with their skipper of five years. The Miami Marlins are interested. But so are the other clubs seeking managers.
After the season ended, the Marlins noted they were preparing to launch an "exhaustive and extensive" search, according to The Sun-Sentinel. To this point, it has been just that. Miami wants a candidate with experience. But the organization has also interviewed individuals with no major league managerial experience. That alone supports the fact that it will be a notably lengthy process.
While the Marlins have been searching for their next manager since the end of the season, Mattingly's name has come up consistently. In fact, Mattingly was first linked to the job in September, before then-Manager Dan Jennings was aware he would not be returning to the dugout in 2016. Jennings eventually agreed to return to the front office, but at the time, it appeared Jennings was interested in returning to the dugout next season.
Almost everything about the Mattingly connection makes sense. He reportedly has a good relationship with Owner Jeffrey Loria, which is essential in order to have success in Miami. He has had a notable amount of success, helping the Dodgers make the playoffs in 2015. He has experience and he has been in a clubhouse as both a player and manager.
Though he has the credentials, the Marlins have an opportunity to preview what it would be like having Mattingly in the clubhouse if they are truly considering him. As 940 WINZ's Andy Slater pointed out Thursday, Dee Gordon should be consulted. Gordon played under Mattingly in Los Angeles. He would know better than anybody else within the organization whether Mattingly would be a good fit.
Now that he is available, it is likely safe to assume Mattingly is the top candidate for the Marlins job. The problem is they have competition. San Diego is seeking a new manager. So is Washington. As is Seattle. The list continues. Just because the Marlins are fond of Mattingly does not guarantee he will be managing the club next year. In fact, he might manage the team that pays him the most. Miami is still paying former manager Mike Redmond and is not necessarily in a position to do so.
There is also not a notable amount of job stability in Miami. The next manager will be the organization's seventh since June of 2010.
Bo Porter, Manny Acta, Phil Nevin, Larry Bowa, and Alex Cora are other options. Maybe the Marlins land Mattingly. Maybe they do not. Mattingly will probably have a list of teams he can manage. The Marlins will not necessarily be on top.