Dodgers Rumors: Manager Search Down To Gabe Kapler And Dave Roberts
Jon SooHoo-Los Angeles Dodgers

When the Los Angeles Dodgers parted with Don Mattingly as manager on Oct. 22, team president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and general manager Farhan Zaidi spoke of finding a manager who had strong leadership skills.

Neither specifically named any candidates, though Friedman asserted the search for Mattingly’s replacement would be a thorough one.

Dodgers director of player development Gabe Kapler was tabbed as a favorite to fill the managerial vacancy.

He was someone Friedman previously praised for being a strong leader, and Kapler’s philosophy and vision aligned with the Dodgers’ front office.

As the lone team in the Majors without a manager in place, the Dodgers are nearing a decision, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports:

After trimming their list of candidates to four last week, the Dodgers are now believed to be selecting between Kapler and former San Diego Padres bench coach Dave Roberts:

Along with Kapler, Roberts, and former Padres manager Bud Black, University of Nebraska head coach Darin Erstad was also part of the finalists.

However, Erstad informed the Dodgers he was removing his name from consideration, citing a desire to remain with his alma mater.

In choosing between Kapler and Roberts, the Dodgers are guaranteed to have a manager in 2016 who does not have Major League experience; Roberts did manage the Padres for one game on an interim basis when Black was fired.

Dating back to 2010, Roberts has five years of coaching experience — three as Padres first base coach and the last two seasons as Black’s bench coach.

Dodgers ownership reportedly asked Friedman and the front office to consider candidates other than Kapler, and at one point Roberts was said to have taken over as the frontrunner for the manager’s job.

Should the Dodgers elect to hire Kapler, it’s plausible Black and Roberts will join the coaching staff as neither are under contract and there aren’t any other manager openings in the Majors; that may be more of a likelihood for Roberts as opposed to Black