Not only do some nice guys finish last, they also get two-year contract extensions for their troubles.
At least that could be said for Athletics’ manager Bob Melvin, who agreed to a two-year contract extension Wednesday despite a 60-79 record that had his team in the American League cellar. One year remains on his original deal, which means he’s under contract through the 2018 season.
“This is where I want to be. It’s where I’ve wanted to be,” said Melvin, 53, a Palo Alto native and Cal product. “It’s the most comfortable place for me. It’s home for me. It’s not lost on me that, during a year like this, these are things that don’t typically happen. I’m very fortunate and appreciative for that.
“The one thing that the front office has always done for me here is given me good players. I believe we’ve underachieved this year, and I’m responsible for that.”
The rewards aren’t likely to stop there. General manager-part owner Billy Beane is expected to be elevated to president of baseball operations shortly and assistant GM David Forst is in line for a promotion. Both also were in attendance at a news conference in advance of the game against the Houston Astros at O.co Coliseum.
“It’s well-deserved. It was something that was a fait accompli a long time ago,” Beane said of Melvin’s contract extension. “He’s somebody we feel very proud to have running the club. Personally, from my standpoint, and I think I speak for David as well as the front office, it has been a productive relationship and one that we’ve enjoyed professionally and personally.”
Beane expressed confidence that Melvin could guide the team through a lengthy transition phase and wanted to quiet any speculation about his job status.
“He’s the right guy,” Beane said. “He was the right guy for the last generation, and he’ll be the right guy for the next generation.”
Melvin guided the A’s to the playoffs in the 2012-2014 seasons, his first three as their manager. But since the 2014 All-Star break, the team has the league’s worst record. The sudden drop-off coincided with the Beane-triggered exodus of front-liners Yoenis Cespedes, Josh Donaldson, Jason Hammel, Jon Lester, Scott Kazmir, Brandon Moss, Jeff Samardzija and Ben Zobrist in the trade and free agent markets.
Melvin has a 385-339 record since he replaced Bob Geren in June 2011. His overall mark of 878-847 includes stints with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Seattle Mariners. He was selected Manager of the Year in 2007 (Diamondbacks) and 2012 (A’s).
“My time here has been great,” Melvin said. “We’ve had good years here — certainly not this year — but we’re fully committed to this team, this organization, this fan base to get this thing turned around sooner than later.”