The Dodgers will hire Dave Roberts as their new manager this week, as first reported by Dylan Hernandez and Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. Roberts was picked over Gabe Kapler, who was widely believed to be the favorite for the job since the Dodgers fired Don Mattingly last month.
Roberts, 43, has been with the Padres organization since 2010, serving as a baseball operations assistant before transitioning to the field as the club's first base coach and bench coach. He was considered a finalist for the Mariners' managerial opening this offseason before the club hired Scott Servais, and will be the fourth first-time manager hired this year, joining Servais, Andy Green (Padres) and Craig Counsell (Brewers).
Roberts played 10 major-league seasons, and spent almost three seasons with the Dodgers from 2002 to 2004. The former outfielder and speedster is remembered for his time with the Red Sox, with his most notable contribution being his clutch steal in Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS that saved Boston's season and propelled them to their first World Series championship in 86 years.
Roberts was one of nine candidates who interviewed for the Dodgers' opening, joining Kapler, the presumed favorite, and Bud Black, Kirk Gibson, Bob Geren, Dave Martinez, Tim Wallach, Ron Roenicke and Darin Erstad. Kapler, who was Roberts' teammate on the Red Sox in 2004, will likely remain in the Dodgers front office as a key member of Andrew Freidman's regime.