5:40pm: The Athletics have announced a two-year extension for Melvin that runs through the 2018 season. In a statement, Melvin said that he is “fully committed to this team, this organization, and this fan base.”
1:10pm: The Athletics will hold a press conference this afternoon in order to announce an extension for skipper Bob Melvin, as Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported earlier in the year. Slusser and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com both say (Twitter links) that Melvin’s new deal will be made official today, though its duration and terms remain unreported.
As Slusser noted in the earlier report, and reiterates today, Oakland is also likely to promote Billy Beane to the president-level position while handing the general manager’s seat to current AGM David Forst. It is not yet clear precisely how those long-time colleagues will change their everyday duties, or whether and when the move will be consummated.
The timing may seem curious at first glance, given that the team is mired in last place and Melvin was already under contract through next season. But he’s long been viewed as a top-quality skipper by the organization, and the overall results have been strong. Since taking the reins in 2012, Melvin has led the club to two AL West crowns and one Wild Card berth.
The A’s, of course, are well known for their crafty roster-building and player-usage approaches, and Melvin has proven well-suited to the organization’s philosophies. As the Chronicle’s Bruce Jenkins wrote in an interesting profile last year, Melvin blends more traditional approaches to managing (“drill-sergeant qualities”) with an understanding of and comfort with modern analytics.
Speaking at the time of Beane, Melvin described an interesting dynamic that has helped the club to thrive in recent seasons despite a perpetually low payroll and frequent roster turnover. “The thing about Billy is that he allows debate,” Melvin said. “Spirited debate. I don’t think he wants you to agree with him all the time. There’s a system in place here, something we’ve all bought into, but on a day-to-day basis, there can be disagreements. Sometimes it might get a little heated, but I appreciate that I have a voice in it.”