Robert and Dodgers' Director of Player Development Gabe Kapler were the two reported finalists for the job.
The 43-year-old Roberts had been serving as the Padres' bench coach, a position he has held since 2011.
Roberts played professionally as well, appearing in 10 different big league seasons from 1999 to 2008. The outfielder spent time with the Indians, Dodgers, Red Sox, and Padres.
Roberts was a lifetime .266/.342/.366 hitter in 3,092 plate appearances.
He becomes the first manager new President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman has hired. When Friedman was named to his position last year, he inherited Don Mattingly as manager.
Mattingly was fired following the 2015 season. Though the Dodgers went 92-70, they failed to advance past the NLDS, losing to the Mets in five games. The team has only won one playoff series over the past three years.
Other candidates considered for the Dodgers' managerial position included Tim Wallach, Ron Roenicke, Kirk Gibson, Darin Erstad, Bud Black, Dave Martinez, and Kapler.