MIAMI — Don Mattingly will not be back as manager of the Miami Marlins next season, a person with knowledge of the matter said.
Mattingly’s contract expires when the season ends and he and the team have agreed that a mutual parting is best for both sides, according to the person, who spoke Sunday to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because there had been no public announcement.
The Miami Herald first reported on the decision.
Mattingly is finishing his seventh season with the Marlins. He entered Sunday with a 437-583 record in Miami, with one winning season in those seven years — a 31-29 mark in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season when the team made its first playoff appearance since 2003.
And it means that a season that started with a big shakeup for Miami now ends with another. In February, Hall of Famer Derek Jeter — who had been Miami’s CEO, the first Black person in baseball history to hold that role with a franchise — announced a surprise departure after 4 1/2 mostly unsuccessful years that didn’t come remotely close to matching his success as a player for the New York Yankees.
Now comes the Mattingly move, which means someone else will be in charge when the team gathers for spring training.
The 61-year-old has managed for 12 seasons, the first five with the Los Angeles Dodgers. All five of those clubs had winning records, three of them making the playoffs.
The Marlins were hoping for similar success, but it didn’t happen as planned. Mattingly was the NL’s manager of the year in 2020 after getting Miami to the playoffs, but other than that, the franchise has been in a mode of constant rebuilding.
Sunday’s news came on the sixth anniversary of the darkest day in team history, when Marlins ace Jose Fernandez and two other people died when their 32-foot boat slammed into a jetty off Miami Beach on Sept. 25, 2016.
The charismatic, exuberant Fernandez, who was beloved in Miami’s Cuban community and touted as the future of the franchise, went 38-17 in his four seasons with the club, winning the NL’s Rookie of the Year award in 2013 and being named a two-time All-Star.
Fernandez’s death, which came at the end of Mattingly’s first season, set the Marlins back. But Mattingly guided them through, ending what was a 17-year playoff drought in 2020.
Yet, the Marlins haven’t spent a day in first place since Aug. 16, 2020. Outside of a few random April days, they haven’t seen first place in a regular 162-game season since June 2014. And this season will mark the 12th time in the last 13 years where the they’ll finish with a losing record.