Marlins welcome Don Mattingly as 'right long-term solution'

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Monday, November 16, 2015

MIAMI -- The Miami Marlins, who have gone through seven managers since 2010, are hoping Don Mattingly is here to stay, as they introduced him as the team's "long-term solution" on Monday.

"I plan on being here at least 10," Mattingly said of his new four-year deal.

Mattingly was hired last week, and Monday's news conference was delayed until after the World Series. He parted with the Los Angeles Dodgerslast month.

"Hiring a manager is one of the most important decisions a team can make, which is why it was so important for us to find the right long-term solution," Marlins owner and CEO Jeffrey Loria said.

"I'm thrilled to welcome Don Mattingly to the Marlins family. ... Don's brand of strong and focused leadership is exactly what this team of talented players needs to help us compete at the highest level."

Mattingly said his biggest concern about taking the job was the Marlins' past tendencies to "start over."

"That was probably my biggest fear," Mattingly said. "Are they going to blow it up and start over?"

With the change in jobs, Mattingly will face a big adjustment regarding resources. The Dodgers led the majors by far this year with a payroll of $289.6 million at the end of the regular season; Miami ranked last at $64.9 million, and the Marlins plan only a small increase in 2016.

Mattingly said the tight budget doesn't bother him.

"The consensus around baseball is that this is a talented club with a good core that has a chance to grow and develop," he said. "For me, that was the single biggest thing -- the chance to develop, teach and mold a young club and build toward winning the division and winning the championship."

Miami has a roster full of young, talented players led by slugger Giancarlo Stanton and ace Jose Fernandez.

Mattingly becomes Loria's first high-profile managerial hire since Ozzie Guillen four years ago. Guillen was fired after one troubled season, and his four-year contract just came off the books.

Mattingly stepped down as manager of the Dodgers on Oct. 22 with one year remaining on his contract. The Dodgers won 55 percent of their regular-season games in his five seasons (446-363), and he led the Dodgers to three straight National League West titles, a first in franchise history.

But he went 8-11 in the postseason. The Dodgers have not reached the World Series since winning the title in 1988 and lost to the New York Mets this year in the NL Division Series.

Including interim hires, Mattingly will be the Marlins' eighth manager since 2010 and the 15th to assume the role since the franchise began play in 1993. Just five of those 15 have managed at least 100 games with the Marlins, and of those five, only Jack McKeon, who managed for four seasons, had a winning record (281-257).

"We wanted this to be the last manager's press conference we ever did," Marlins president David Samson said. "We've done too many."

The Marlins began their search earlier this month after it was determined that Dan Jennings would not return in the role next season after making the unusual move from general manager to manager when the Marlins fired Mike Redmond in May after a 16-22 start.

The change failed to spark a turnaround, and the injury-riddled Marlins finished 71-91 in their sixth consecutive losing season.

Jennings was fired as GM on Thursday. Michael Hill will handle the responsibilities of GM in addition to his duties as team president, as he has done since Jennings gave up the job.

Tim Wallach, who was Mattingly's bench coach with the Dodgers, will have the same role in Miami. Marlins coaches Perry Hill, Lenny Harris and Reid Cornelius will be retained. The jobs of pitching and hitting coach have yet to be filled.

Mattingly was a six-time All-Star and a .307 hitter with the New York Yankees from 1982 to 1995. Loria is a New Yorker and Yankees fan.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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