A's exercise option on Melvin's 2022 contract

June 15th, 2021

OAKLAND -- At the start of the regular season, A's general manager David Forst described the club option on manager Bob Melvin's contract for next year as more of a formality than a question mark.

That decision has officially been made.

The A's announced Tuesday that the club option on Melvin's contract for 2022 has been exercised, keeping the skipper on board for what would be his 12th season with Oakland. The move comes just two days after Melvin became the 35th manager in MLB history to reach 1,300 wins.

"I don't think there was any doubt about the conclusion of this option," A's executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane said. "When we got a chance to sit down, this seemed like the right time. With a guy like Bob and as much as he's accomplished, it's always a day late, because his accomplishments far exceed everything else. Had we done it earlier, it still would have been later than it should have been."

Melvin, 59, is going through a historical month. In addition to the 1,300 wins, he reached another big milestone earlier this month when he earned his 799th victory with the A's, surpassing Hall of Famer Tony La Russa for most managerial wins in Oakland history. Over that tenure, he's led the A's to six postseason appearances -- three American League West titles included -- and has earned two AL Manager of the Year Awards.

The overall resume Melvin's built to this point is quite extensive. He entered Tuesday with a managerial record of 1,301-1,223 (.515) in 18 seasons with Seattle, Arizona and Oakland. Having also won National League Manager of the Year Award with the D-backs in 2007, Melvin is just the sixth manager to win the award in both leagues and eighth to win it three times.

"Bob, arguably, has been the most successful manager we've had here, especially when you consider the challenges that he's had," Beane said. "He's had a roster that has turned over multiple times since he's been here. He has one of the lower payrolls to deal with. From a professional and personal relationship, this tenure speaks for itself.

"I don't think you can work in this business with this kind of intensity on a daily level without genuinely having an affection, not only professionally, but also personally, for each other. We do have to deal with each other, and 10 years is a long time. None of us are ready for that to end."

Melvin is currently going through a period of some of his best work with the club. Having led the A's to the postseason in each of the past three seasons, Melvin has his team on pace to make it four straight playoff appearances. Entering Tuesday, the A's were a season-high 14 games over .500 (41-27) and held a lead of 2 1/2 games for first place in the AL West.

Humble as always, Melvin used his session with media following the announcement to deflect the attention to his coaches and players as the backbone to his longevity. As for Beane's comments about him being the top manager to come through Oakland, Melvin said he couldn't even fathom being in the same conversation as other managing legends to come through the organization, a list that includes La Russa, Art Howe and Billy Martin.

"Those are names that have managed here that, if you try to sit down and think about it, it would be a little bit surreal," Melvin said. "I know Tony La Russa really well, and I don't even consider myself in the same ballpark as a guy like Tony La Russa. It's humbling. It certainly means that I've had some longevity here, and I'm thankful for that. I'm thankful for my bosses having faith in me and the players we have here. As much as this is about me right now, it's about everybody else here that allows me to remain here for as long as I have."

Given Melvin's massive success, it would seem logical that the next step on the table would be a long-term extension beyond 2022. Beane said he expects those talks to pick up at the conclusion of this season.

"Given the relationship between myself, Bob and the organization, that's something we'll talk about at the end of the year," Beane said. "Bob is at the point in his career where that's always going to be part of the conversation. First order of business was to pick up the option. Anything beyond that will probably come in conversation during the offseason."