The Los Angeles Dodgers announced that they have signed Dave Roberts to a four-year contract extension to keep him as their manager long-term.
Roberts took over the job before the 2016 season and has had a tremendous amount of success in his three-year tenure. The Dodgers have won the National League West in all three seasons and have advanced to the World Series in each of the last two, although winning it all has been the one goal that has alluded him. He also was named the NL Manager of the Year in his first season.
The organization making a long-term commitment shows the trust that they have in him to bring the first World Series Championship to the city of Los Angeles since 1988 though.
Now that the extension with Roberts is done, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman is excited to shift his focus to the player side to build a championship roster for Roberts.
“Keeping Doc as our leader on the field was a top priority this offseason and now that we’ve accomplished that we are excited to collectively shift all of our focus to doing all we can to bring a World Championship to our passionate fans,” said Friedman.
Roberts has taken his fair share of criticism over the last few years, particularly in the 2018 World Series against the Boston Red Sox, but it is hard to ignore all the immediate success he has had as a first-time manager.
Because of that, a long-term extension was the expected outcome this offseason even though they originally picked up his team option for the 2019 season. That gave the two sides more time to negotiate.
At the conclusion of the 2018 season, Roberts expressed his desire to remain the manager of the Dodgers and vowed to return to and win the World Series in 2019.
After the extension was announced, Roberts again expressed his desire to bring a championship to Los Angeles. “When I was hired to lead this team three years ago, I said at the time that managing the Dodgers is truly the opportunity of a lifetime and I feel the exact same way today,” said Roberts.
“We’ve worked hard to develop a team and culture that will put us in position to win the World Series every season, but we still have yet to achieve our ultimate goal and that is what drives me each day. I want to thank Andrew, Stan Kasten and our outstanding ownership group for believing in me and keeping me in Dodger Blue, a uniform I’m so proud to wear.”
Keeping Roberts this offseason was crucial for the Dodgers as they have a lot of other staff positions to replace, with the main one being general manager after Farhan Zaidi was named the president of baseball operations of the rival San Francisco Giants.
Roberts will have some new coaches on his staff in 2019, with Dino Ebel taking over as third base coach, Robert Van Scoyoc as hitting coach in addition to a couple other changes.