The Los Angeles Dodgers’ roller-coaster season came to a screaming halt on Friday night in St. Louis. They won’t have long to get over the dizzying ride — and the dizzying $236 million it cost them — before they start making moves.
After all, it’s been 26 years since the Dodgers have been world champs and changes are in order.
‘‘Going through spring, the long season, and then it just comes to a crash, so it’s disappointing for all of us,’’ manager Don Mattingly said after the Cardinals captured the NLCS with a 9-0 win in Game 6.
Mattingly led the team to 92 wins and the NL West title in his contract’s final guaranteed season. The 52-year-old manager is 261-226 in three seasons and the team holds a $1.4 million option for next year.
The Dodgers will be discussing new contracts for Clayton Kershaw, the likely Cy Young winner who put up a clunker Friday, and Hanley Ramirez, the team’s best hitter who played hurt during the NLCS.
Kershaw had the major leagues’ lowest ERA for the third straight season while pitching a career-high 259 innings between the regular season and the playoffs. He needed 48 pitches to get out of the third inning Friday, when he allowed four runs. The lefthander is entering his final year of salary-arbitration eligibility.
‘‘We had some good moments this year,’’ Kershaw said. ‘‘Put together a good streak there toward the middle, but, really, unless you win the whole thing, it doesn’t make a difference.’’
According to ESPN, the Dodgers offered Kershaw essentially a lifetime contract in the range of $300 million — “an A-Rod deal” — earlier this season, according to a source with knowledge of its scope and structure. The sides were unable to finish negotiations, sources say, because Kershaw was uncertain about committing to a deal so encompassing, and about having contract talks during the season.
Ramirez has one year left on his contract. He hit .500 in the division series against Atlanta with six RBIs in four games. Then he got plunked by a pitch from Joe Kelly in Game 1 of the NLCS and was never the same. Ramirez broke his left rib and batted just .133, going 2 for 15 against the Cardinals.
Among the team’s dozen potential free agents are starters Ricky Nolasco and Edinson Volquez, along with bearded reliever Brian Wilson, who revived his career while bolstering the Dodgers’ bullpen. Relievers J.P. Howell and Carlos Marmol could leave, too, as well as infielder Juan Uribe, considered a clubhouse favorite by his teammates, and veterans Jerry Hairston, Nick Punto, Skip Schumaker, and Michael Young eligible for free agency.
MLB defends itself
Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball’s No. 2 executive, testified that the sport wasn’t concerned if the head of a Florida clinic distributed performance-enhancing drugs to minors because MLB’s sole interest was his relationship with players under investigation, a person familiar with the Alex Rodriguez grievance hearing told the Associated Press.
Manfred, MLB’s chief operating officer, testified this week and was asked by Rodriguez’s lawyers about documents indicating Biogenesis of America founder Anthony Bosch had given PEDs to high school students, the person said Saturday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the testimony is confidential.
Manfred said he assumed, based on documents in MLB’s possession and media reports, that Bosch had distributed illegal substances to minors, but he never asked Bosch about it. Manfred also said MLB was interested only in possible criminal activity involving players, the person said.
‘‘What I testified to was that our sole obligation was to determine whether players had violated the Basic Agreement and the Joint Drug Agreement and the enforcement of laws,’’ Manfred said by telephone Saturday.
The Daily News reported Saturday that Rodriguez paid $305,000 for evidence, an allegation denied by a spokesman for the three-time AL MVP. The newspaper said Rodriguez and his representatives confirmed the payments during testimony.