The Oakland A’s announced new long-term deals today for Executive VP of Baseball Ops Billy Beane, General Manager David Forst, and Manager Bob Melvin, per a team report.
Melvin’s deal will take him through 2021 at about $3.5MM per season, which puts him in the upper echelon of managers in terms of yearly salary, per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco chronicle, who provides some of the contract details. Forst is now signed through 2023, giving him another four years as the Oakland GM. The length of Beane’s extension is as of yet unknown, though the expectation is that he will be in Oakland for the foreseeable future.
Extensions were expected for the Oakland trio after a surprising 97-65 record took the team to the Wild Card game versus the Yankees despite fielding a team with the lowest opening day payroll in the league. Faced with those limited resources and a host of injuries, Beane, Forst and Melvin frankensteined together a pitching staff from veteran castoffs and reclamation projects like Edwin Jackson, Trevor Cahill and Brett Anderson. Together with an offense powered by a defensive third basemen and the most consistent hitter in baseball history, Oakland stormed past the Mariners to place themselves in the elite class of American League contenders. With their braintrust locked in, Oakland has achieved its primary goal of the offseason and can now turn the trio’s attention toward building on their 2018 success and staying atop a crowded AL West.
Beane was the GM of the A’s for 18 years before the promotion to his current title in 2015. He has been named Executive of the Year twice by Baseball America, twice by The Sporting News, as well as MLB.com’s Greatness in Baseball Yearly (GIBBY) award as the 2012 MLB Executive of the Year. He is most famous, of course, for launching the moneyball era of baseball sabermetrics, but he continues to hunt for and find market inefficiencies that help his Oakland A’s overcome the payroll disparity they face year in and year out. He holds an ownership stake in the A’s, so it seems he is secure in his role running the baseball ops department ad infinitum. Beane signs this new deal as he wraps up the five-year deal he signed back in 2012.
Melvin is a two-time manager of the year recipient, most recently in 2012 with Oakland. He is third in franchise history with 634 wins, and it’s certainly conceivable that he’ll pass Tony La Russa (798) for second on that list before this new deal is done. Before the extension, Melvin had inked a series of short-term arrangements, including when he and the club agreed to tack on the 2019 season as the 2017 campaign drew to a close. Amazingly, this season’s 22-win improvement is the third time Melvin has led a team to a 20-game improvement. He has been with the A’s since 2011, making the playoffs four times in that span (2012, 2013, 2014, 2018).
It’s not entirely clear how Forst’s contract situation has been handled in the past, but he has been with the Oakland organization for twenty years. He served for twelve years as the assistant general manager before his promotion to GM four years ago. He may not have as much name recognition as Billy Beane, but Forst has long been a part of the braintrust in Oakland and seems to be, like Beane, an Oakland lifer.