Three years ago Don Mattingly was just starting out in Los Angeles and Rick Renteria was a bench coach in San Diego.
On Thursday, Mattingly started negotiation talks for an extension and Renteria took over the helm in Chicago.
Both managers have high aspirations to manage their teams to success the next few years, but they’re starting from opposite ends of the spectrum.
Mattingly is in the final year of his contract after his option picked up when LA won a division series.
Though the Dodgers have improved by at least four wins each of the past three seasons since he took over, the front office has dragged its feet in extending its skipper passed the current contract.
Until recently, Mattingly had been quiet. Now that he’s not, conversations have started.
For Renteria, it is the tougher assignment. After over a month of searching, Theo Epstein and company tabbed the Spanish speaking Renteria to manage the Cubs towards a 105 year goal of winning a World Series.
Many believe Renteria was the favorite due in part to his ability to communicate with the young Latino stars in Chicago, including Starlin Castro, who is coming off a down year.
Red Sox bench coach, Torey Lovullo would have also been in consideration, but was forbidden due to a previous agreement when the Cubs signed Theo Epstein away from the Red Sox in 2011.
While it’s highly unlikely Renteria is being given any expectations of success in 2014, the Cubs have clearly and carefully chosen its vision for the future.
As prospects develop and age, Chicago has to be eyeing consistent contention starting around 2016. For Mattingly, the Dodgers are in win now mode with over $200 million committed to the payroll.
The Dodgers would think nothing of cutting bait with Mattingly regardless of his contract situation should Los Angeles start like it did last year and not recover.