The Los Angeles Dodgers have hired former player Dave Roberts to replace Don Mattingly as the team’s manager, a league source confirmed to ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick.
Although the Dodgers have decided on Roberts and he has agreed to take the job, a baseball source said the two sides were still working out the final contract details as of Sunday night.
The hiring was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.
Roberts, 43, is a former Dodgers outfielder who played for the team from 2002-04. He also played for the Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants during a 10-year big league career that ended in 2008. Roberts was a career .266 hitter with 243 steals, and he played in the postseason four times.
Roberts is perhaps best known for his stolen base in the 2004 AL playoffs, which sparked the Red Sox to an elusive World Series championship.
In the AL Championship Series, Boston was three outs from being swept by the New York Yankees. Roberts pinch ran after Kevin Millar drew a leadoff walk from Mariano Rivera. Then Roberts stole second and scored on Bill Mueller‘s single.
Boston won 6-4 in 12 innings, then became the first team in major league history to overcome a 3-0 deficit and win a postseason series. Roberts did not play as the Red Sox swept St. Louis for their first championship since 1918, but he will always be beloved in Boston because of that one play.
Roberts was the Padres’ bench coach the past two seasons and managed one game in 2015 — a 9-1 loss — on an interim basis after Bud Black was fired and before Pat Murphy could arrive from the minor leagues to take over for the rest of the season.
Roberts survived a bout of Hodgkin’s lymphoma that was diagnosed in March 2010 and joined the Padres as first-base coach in 2011.
Roberts will succeed Mattingly, who mutually parted ways with the Dodgers last month after five years that included winning three consecutive NL West titles but never reaching the World Series. A week later, Mattingly signed a four-year contract to manage the Miami Marlins.
Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner expressed his enthusiasm over Roberts’ hiring in a tweet late Sunday night:
Justin Turner (@redturn2) November 23, 2015
Roberts, whose father is African-American and mother is Japanese, will be the first minority manager in the storied franchise’s history.
One of the favorites to replace Mattingly was Gabe Kapler, the club’s farm director. He played with Tampa Bay when Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations, was that club’s general manager.
The franchise also interviewed Dodgers bench coach Tim Wallach and third-base coach Ron Roenicke, who has since joined the rival Angels. Other candidates interviewed include Kirk Gibson, a hero in the Dodgers’ 1988 World Series championship; Nebraska baseball coach Darin Erstad; former Padres manager Black; and Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez.
ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick, ESPN Insider Jim Bowden and The Associated Press contributed to this report.