After five seasons, Don Mattingly and the Los Angeles Dodgers have parted ways. The decision grants new management, led by president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, the opportunity to hire its own manager and start fresh. There will be no shortage of interest in the job, which is one of the most appealing managerial positions in baseball, given the team's large payroll and core talent. Let's take a look at the early top candidates to be the Dodgers' next skipper. Above: Don Mattingly (left) talks with third-base coach Ron Roenicke.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsKirby Lee
Roenicke was hired in August by the Dodgers to replace Lorenzo Bundy as the third-base coach. As the front office had hoped, he successfully improved the team's baserunning. Roenicke was fired as manager of the Milwaukee Brewers in May after four-plus seasons in his first managerial stint. He led the Brewers to the NLCS in his first season in 2011, but they didn't return to the postseason again during his tenure. The Brewers posted a 342-331 overall record with him at the helm. Roenicke is a native of Southern California and played for UCLA before being drafted by the Dodgers in the first round of the 1977 draft.
Getty ImagesMatt Brown
Wallach, who reportedly recently interviewed for the Washington Nationals' vacant managerial post, has been the Dodgers' bench coach for the past two seasons. He has been in the organization for years in a variety of capacities, including third-base coach and minor-league manager. Having played for the Dodgers for a few years, Wallach knows the organization well. He is also said to be respected by players.
Getty ImagesMark Cunningham
At 40 years old and with no major-league coaching experience, Kapler isn't your typical managerial candidate. Nonetheless, as the Dodgers' director of player development, Kapler has worked closely with Friedman and would embrace the analytical approach his management team is fond of. The former major-league outfielder would have quite a task ahead of him if he were tabbed as the Dodgers' next skipper, but he might possess the kind of forward thinking that makes him an appealing candidate to Friedman and LA's brass.
MLB Photos via Getty ImagesJason Wise
Martinez has served as Joe Maddon's bench coach for the past eight seasons, seven of which came in Tampa Bay, where Friedman served as the team's general manager. The former major-league outfielder followed Maddon to the Chicago Cubs, who had a spectacular turnaround season in 2015. Throughout the years, Martinez has been mentioned as a managerial candidate, and his previous ties to Friedman could make him an attractive contender for the Dodgers' vacant position.
MLB Photos via Getty ImagesRon Vesely
Black, who was fired by the San Diego Padres in 2015 after eight-plus seasons, won the 2010 NL Manager of the Year Award. While his managerial record stands at 649-713, he made the most out of being the skipper of a small-market team. In addition to being the most experienced eligible manager on the market (other than Dusty Baker), Black has been heralded as an excellent leader of the clubhouse -- an important attribute to hold entering the Dodgers' diverse clubhouse.