NL Notes: Mattingly, Freeman, Diamondbacks, Lamb

When Marlins manager Don Mattingly signed his freshly-inked two-year contract extension, he may have taken a significant pay cut to keep his position in the Miami dugout, writes Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. While the precise financials of the contract have not been released to the public, Rosenthal’s sources have indicated that Mattingly will make roughly $2MM annually to stay in Miami—a considerable downgrade the $2.8MM figure that he’s earned this season. While the Marlins are notorious for their conservative spending, Rosenthal argues that Mattingly’s salary reflects an industry-wide trend that has driven managers’ salaries down. A veteran like Mattingly may have found it hard to match his previous salary had he elected to go job-hunting elsewhere in the Majors, where teams increasingly favor younger—and therefore more affordable—analytically-driven managers. That’s not to discount Mattingly’s work with the rebuilding Marlins, who have praised his ability to work with young players; however, it’s notable just how much the landscape of baseball has changed that a lifer like Mattingly is no longer a sought-after skipper.

  • Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, who has been battling through a bone spur in his elbow, was again bothered by the elbow today, according to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. With his Braves having already clinched the NL East, he’ll play it safe and take the next few days off before rejoining the club on Friday for the series against the Mets. The hope is that four days of rest and treatment will have Freeman ready to go for the rest of year—it’s worth noting that, after the game, manager Brian Snitker said that Freeman would be in the lineup if the playoffs were starting tomorrow.
  • With the offseason approaching, there will be no shortage of questions surrounding Diamondbacks infielder Jake Lamb, writes Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. Lamb has struggled through a second consecutive disappointing year after an All-Star campaign in 2017. He’ll be eligible for arbitration this winter, and the organization may opt to non-tender Lamb in favor of more affordable, less risky investments. Injuries to his shoulder and quad have robbed Lamb of regular at-bats, making it difficult to regain the swing that produced 30 home runs just two years ago. Unfortunately for Lamb, those injuries have opened doors for others in the organization, and he may now find himself squeezed out of the D-Backs’ plans.