Marlins manager Don Mattingly and the sand in the hourglass

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 07: Don Mattingly #8 of the Miami Marlins during the National Anthem before the game between the Miami Marlins and the Atlanta Braves at Marlins Park on June 7, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - JUNE 07: Don Mattingly #8 of the Miami Marlins during the National Anthem before the game between the Miami Marlins and the Atlanta Braves at Marlins Park on June 7, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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With less than a month remaining in the MLB season, the future of manager Don Mattingly with the Marlins hangs in the balance.

The MLB season continues to dwindle and the questions continue to grow regarding the future of Miami Marlins Don Mattingly and his future with the organization. Without a new contract in place and a tabled discussion between the skipper and Marlins CEO Derek Jeter, will this be the final month Donny Baseball comes out of the team’s dugout.

It looks more likely to be a real possibility.

"“Chief executive officer Derek Jeter recently stated that, in fairness to Mattingly, he hopes to address his future as Marlins’ manager by the end of the season, or shortly after it ends in Philadelphia on Sept. 29. Mattingly has said he would like to be back, but only if he’s wanted,” writes Joe Frisaro of MLB.com."

The news at the end of the 2018 season was just as non-committal as Jeter announced Mattingly would be back for his fourth season with the team but did not lend any other information about the future following this season. And while the team is still floundering at the bottom of the National League East standings and is one of the worst teams in Major League Baseball, I wonder out loud who could come in and change the culture of the organization.

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Mattingly has been the good soldier through this transformation and changes within the minor league system and the parent club roster that has had major issues swinging a bat this season. And for some reason, I cannot get the names Jorge Posada and Joe Girardi out of my head as possible replacements. Would Jeter take one former Yankees teammate and replace him with another? Don’t dismiss the possibility.

"“It basically comes down to where the organization believes it is in its building process,” Frisaro adds. “Do the Marlins want to stick with the continuity with Mattingly managing or go with a different voice and a new message?”"

Sometimes the changing of the guard will help a youth movement. The Marlins figure to have new faces in new places in 2020 and have plenty of decisions to make regarding the 25-man roster and the need to bring in better hitters and continue to develop a young pitching staff that has fallen on hard times the second half of the season.

The decision for Jeter, which needs to be made sooner after the season is over rather than let it linger. Just like the current roster and payroll, a decision on who leads the team next season is still about economy and who would come to take over for Mattingly and assume what could be a fairly low offer to manage this team.

"“When Mattingly was hired in 2016 by previous owner Jeffrey Loria, the Marlins had a roster more equipped to contend for the postseason.” writes Frisaro.“Mattingly, although his exact salary figure is unclear, is believed to be making at least a couple of million dollars, maybe more. With a roster that is not ready to contend, the organization may not want to allocate at least $2 million on its manager. So, perhaps working out the salary could come into play.”"

This isn’t to say that in the future, the role of the manager wouldn’t become a more high-profile, high-priced position. For now, Jeter is looking to remain a low-budget organization and get the most for his money so that the franchise does not overextend itself in the future.

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