OAKLAND -- Under normal circumstances, a manager going through a season in which his contract does not guarantee he will be back beyond that year might create bigger storylines. In the case of Bob Melvin’s club option for 2022, though, both he and the A’s have made it clear where things stand.
During a team workout at the Oakland Coliseum earlier this week, A’s general manager David Forst spoke of Melvin’s club option as if it was more of a foregone conclusion rather than a mystery.
“Bob and I talked in the offseason about this,” Forst said when asked of potential extension talks during a Zoom call with reporters. “His option, at this point, is more a function of what he wants to do rather than what we want. He’s earned that right. That will be the conversation we have going forward.”
The lack of hesitance coming from the front office regarding Melvin’s future with the club should not come as a surprise. Beginning his 11th season as manager of the A’s, Melvin is the longest-tenured active manager in baseball. It’s longevity that has been earned with the long stretches of success he’s been able to guide this club through over the past decade.
Twice named American League Manager of the Year with Oakland, Melvin’s 767 wins as A’s manager are third-most in franchise history, trailing only Connie Mack (3,582) and Tony La Russa (798). The A’s have reached the postseason six times in Melvin’s stint, including a trip to October in each of the last three years, with the club capturing its first AL West title since 2013 last season.
So if the decision were to come down to Melvin, it’s pretty easy to figure out what way he’s leaning. A Bay Area native who grew up just up the road in Menlo Park, the 59-year-old manager is very comfortable working close to home.
“I have no desire to go anywhere else,” Melvin said before Friday’s game against the Astros. “My bosses have taken good care of me here. That’s where I stand on it. It’s not my job to pick up an option. It’s the people above me. But I’m really happy here.”
Melvin last received a contract extension in October 2018 for two years at around $3.5 million per year.
Sean Murphy was scratched from the A’s lineup about two hours before first pitch against Houston on Friday with what the club announced as a right wrist contusion.
The injury was sustained during Thursday night’s 8-1 loss to the Astros, a game in which Murphy started behind the plate and played all nine innings, going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.
Aramis Garcia, who captured the backup job in Spring Training with a strong showing that saw him hit .370 in 13 Cactus League games, replaced Murphy in the lineup, batting ninth.
Montas set for Monday
The A’s have tabbed right-hander Frankie Montas to make his first regular-season start on Monday against the Dodgers at the Coliseum. Montas had been dealing with a cuticle tear on his right middle finger during Spring Training. But after throwing a bullpen session without issue on Wednesday, Melvin said the righty should be restriction-free heading into the outing.
“He has one more 'pen today,” Melvin said. “But everything is looking like a go. The training staff has not thrown anything my way to suggest he won’t be able to go. I looked at the nail. I’m not a doctor, but it looks good to me. I think we’re full-go on him.”