NEW YORK — The news here should probably be that Don Mattingly hasn’t told Yasiel Puig that he will or will not be traded, but then that’s not really saying much. (Others have written about the possibility of Puig being traded recently.)
That isn’t necessarily a manager’s job, though; the manager typically only delivers the news once there’s news to be delivered.
Mattingly knew this in 2009, when he was the Dodgers’ hitting coach and first baseman James Loney was the subject of trade rumors. The Dodgers’ reported targets at the time were San Diego Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and pitcher Heath Bell. The Dodgers had just begun a series in Atlanta on July 31, 2009 when Mattingly decided to have some fun at Loney’s expense in the middle of the game.
“I got (Loney) off the field because there was a bunch of speculation about him,” Mattingly said. “It wasn’t going to happen. They were like reporting it. I got him off the field and told him Joe (Torre, the Dodgers’ manager) wanted to talk to him. I said, ‘you might want to take your bats with you.’ He got in there. Joe was like, ‘Donnie’s messing with you.’
The Dodgers ended up trading Loney for Adrian Gonzalez three years later.