ARLINGTON — A’s manager Bob Melvin will get at least a couple more years to see what type of success this new group of young talent can produce.
Just before Thursday’s 4-1 victory over the Texas Rangers, the club announced it has agreed to terms on a one-year contract extension that will keep Melvin at the helm through the 2019 season. His original contract was set to expire after 2018.
The extension aligns his contract with Executive Vice President of Basball Operations Billy Beane and General Manager David Forst, giving Melvin a bit more satisfaction given the time they’ve already spent together in the organization.
Getting the chance to continue managing in the Bay Area is also a plus for Melvin, who is a Menlo Park native and Cal product.
“Whether it was one year, one day, or ten years, it doesn’t affect the way I do my job here. Obviously not lost on me that, to be able to do this at home, is pretty cool,” Melvin said. “I appreciate from John (Fisher) to Billy and David, everybody to have enough faith in me to keep me around another year. I felt at the beginning of this year we had a chance to move in a different direction than what we’ve been the last couple of years with these younger guys finally getting to the big leagues. Greatly appreciative to the organization.”
Since taking over as interim manager on June 9, 2011, Melvin’s record stands at 532-532 with the A’s. The club has compiled a 73-85 record so far this year, playing particularly well in the month of September, entering Thursday night with a record of 15-10.
Melvin led the A’s to three consecutive playoff appearances from 2012-14, earning Manager of the Year honors in for the 2012 season. He became the 64th manager in MLB history to win his 1,000th game earlier this season.
The news of the extension came as a delight to the young players who figure to play a key role in trying to get the A’s back to the postseason.
“That’s super exciting for all of us. We love to play for skip and I think he just handles his players so well. He knows the temperament of his players and he’s always even-keel,” Pinder said. “The highs aren’t too high and the lows aren’t too low. If he needs to say something, he will, but ultimately he just lets us play. All of us really do enjoy playing for him.”
As well as Melvin has been able to handle this season’s roster constructed of mostly rookies and second-year players, he’s also shown the ability to manage veteran-heavy teams when the club went through it’s most recent playoff run.
That combination made the decision to extend Melvin an easy one for Beane and co.
“Managers always say the door is open but very few live up to that. Bob is great with both veterans and particularly with young players,” Beane said. “We couldn’t have a better guy for the job right now.
“Bob deserves this extension. He’s done a great job going through this transition. Couldn’t have better man for position,” Beane said. “He comes to the park every day with same mindset. No matter who he’s got on the roster, he tries to figure out a way to win and we’re happy to extend him another year.”
The team’s recent run of success against teams who are either in the playoffs or were in contention at the time they faced the A’s is also something that has not gone unnoticed by the front office.
“We’ve all been very pleased with how they’ve played and handled this situation. Played some teams that were in playoff hunt and the guys responded as well as we could have expected, maybe better, and Bob has been in front of all of it,” Beane said. “Overall been very pleased and look forward to further integrating young players through the course of next year to get back to the next level.”
— Sean Manaea ended his season on a good note, allowing just an unearned run on three hits in 6 2/3 innings of work to pick up his 12th win of the year. It was the ninth time in the past 13 games an A’s starter has allowed one earned run or less.
Rookie Matt Chapman backed Manaea’s strong performance with his 14th home run of the season, a solo shot to center in the fifth off a 0-1 pitch from Miguel Gonzalez.
After Texas tied it up in the bottom half, Ryon Healy put the A’s back on top in the sixth with a single that drove home both Jed Lowrie and Khris Davis.
Blake Treinen allowed a couple of runners to reach base in the ninth, but he managed to strand both to convert his 11th consecutive save opportunity and 15th overall save on the season.
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