The Athletics were the most surprising MLB team this year, leading general manager Billy Beane to say the club wanted to extend manager Bob Melvin’s contract earlier this month.
It turns out Beane and executive vice president David Forst will also reportedly receive extensions, too.
The Athletic reported Friday the team is set to announce Melvin, Beane and Forst will get new contracts, possibly right after the World Series. Their contracts were all set to expire after the 2019 season.
Despite beginning the season with the lowest MLB payroll, the A’s went from 75 wins in 2017 to 97 wins and a wild-card spot this year.
The Athletics, of course, literally wrote the book on maximizing results with a small-market payroll; Beane was the subject of the 2003 book “Moneyball,” showing how he pioneered the use of analytics in MLB. His character was portrayed by Brad Pitt in the 2011 movie of the same name.
But, compiling analytics is useless without the right manager.
Melvin is now 634-599 in eight years with the A’s, who’ve made the postseason four times during his tenure. This year was probably his most impressive performance. The A’s dealt with a rash of injuries — including four pitchers who would require Tommy John surgery. The Athletics were 35-36 in mid-June, and were seemingly lucky to be near .500.
But, Oakland finished on a 65-29 tear to clinch the second wild-card spot. The A’s later fell to the Yankees in the wild-card game.
“Bob is one of the best in the game, and he’s perfect for us,” Beane told reporters a couple of days after that game. “The idea is that he’s here for a long time, and for the rest of his career.”
Melvin is considered the front-runner for the American League Manager of the Year Award. It would be a nice honor, sure, but he’ll probably appreciate the security of a contract extension even more.
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