Mattingly, Dodgers closing in on deal …

Don Mattingly and the Dodgers are making progress on a contract extension that would remove his lame-duck status as the team’s manager, according to reports from FOXSports.com and the Los Angeles Times.

The new deal, which the two sides have been in talks about for most of the offseason, is “expected to be done soon,” FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal wrote via Twitter.

Mattingly is currently only under contract through the 2014 season, his option automatically vesting when the Dodgers beat the Braves in the National League Division Series.

That spilled into an awkward season-ending press conference, when Mattingly – with general manager Ned Colletti by his side – voiced displeasure over being guaranteed for just one more year and said he didn’t want to work where he didn’t feel wanted, resurfacing reports from early in the summer that his job is in jeopardy.

By the time the Owners’ Meetings came around in early November, though, the two sides appeared to clear up any misunderstandings and were talking through a contract extension, with Mattingly saying: “I love where I’m at. I’m proud to be representing the Dodgers and managing their club. We’re in talks right now. Things are going good. No real hurry or rush for me at this point — I don’t think for the Dodgers, either.”

Mattingly, 52, has gone 260-225 in three seasons with the Dodgers. This year, he guided the team through a thrilling turnaround that saw them go from 12 games below .500 on June 21 to 28 games over by Sept. 3, ultimately losing to the Cardinals in the NL Championship Series. For that, Mattingly finished second to Pirates skipper Clint Hurdle for the NL Manager of the Year Award.

– Alden Gonzalez

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