OAKLAND — The Oakland Athletics have long appreciated Bob Melvin’s ability to balance the challenges of an ever-changing roster with keeping a competitive lineup on the diamond day after day.
Now, he is set to manage the A’s at least two more years, with his latest extension announced Thursday set to take him through the 2019 season.
He had been signed through 2018 in a deal he reached in September 2015. In late July, the 55-year-old former catcher earned his 1,000th managerial win.
“Excited to continue being part of a great organization,” Melvin said. “With our younger group of players, I believe we are headed in the right direction. Very appreciative to Billy (Beane), David (Forst) and ownership for their continued support.”
The A’s have repeatedly expressed their commitment to having the Bay Area native as their on-field leader, and he has handled the challenge of an ever-changing young team and a rash of injuries during his tenure.
“Bob deserves this extension. He’s done a great job going through this transition, he’s been fully supportive not just from an organizational standpoint but he’s also been supportive to a new group of young players that have entered onto the roster,” said Beane, Oakland’s executive vice president of baseball operations. “We couldn’t have a better man for the position than Bob. It’s really as much about anything, it’s about him.”
Melvin previously managed the Mariners and Diamondbacks, then took over guiding the A’s during the 2011 season following the firing of Bob Geren. Oakland could finish last in the AL West for a third season in a row following three consecutive playoff years.
A Manager of the Year in both leagues, Melvin’s 535 wins trail only Tony La Russa (798) and Art Howe (600) in Oakland history. Melvin had a 1,028-1,040 record in 14 years managing as the A’s entered a season-ending series at Texas that began Thursday.
In 2012, Oakland became the first team in major league history to win a division or pennant after trailing by five games with fewer than 10 to play, sweeping three games against Texas to win the division over the Rangers.
Oakland lost to Detroit 3-2 in a best-of-five AL division series that year while returning to the playoffs following a five-year drought without a winning record or playoff berth, finishing 94-68.
The A’s lost to Detroit in a five-game first-round series again in 2013, then 9-8 in 12 innings to the AL champion Kansas City Royals in the 2014 one-game wild card.
“He comes to the park every day with the same mindset — no matter who he’s got on the roster, he tries to figure out a way to win,” Beane said. “He’s prepared and again we’re happy to extend him for another year, beyond ‘18.”