OAKLAND (AP) — The Oakland Athletics have reached agreement on a three-year contract to keep Bob Melvin as their permanent manager, two people with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Melvin is expected to formally receive his new deal in the coming days, both people said, speaking on condition of anonymity to The AP because there had been no announcement by the team.
The 49-year-old Melvin took over in an interim capacity for the fired Bob Geren in June and has a 42-49 record after Tuesday night’s 7-2 loss to the AL West-leading Texas Rangers at the Coliseum. Geren’s dismissal marked the first time Oakland fired a manager during the season in a quarter century.
Geren’s dismissal marked the first time Oakland fired a manager during the season in a quarter century.
Melvin, a Bay Area native who played college baseball at California, previously managed the Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks. He has considered it a good fit with this franchise for both sides and has repeatedly said he’d like to stay.
While Oakland (69-84) is headed for a fifth straight season without a winning record or playoff berth since being swept in the 2006 AL championship series by Detroit, Melvin’s leadership and experience has resonated with the front office and the players in his short tenure with the A’s.
“Everybody in this locker room would be really excited,” shortstop Cliff Pennington said before Tuesday’s game. “We love him. We’re hoping that he’s back.”
Melvin owns a 535-556 career managerial record in eight seasons. The A’s were 27-36 and mired in a nine-game losing streak when Melvin took over.
He led the Diamondbacks to the NL West title in 2007 and also won 93 games in his rookie season with the Mariners in 2003.
Melvin was also on Bob Brenly’s staff as bench coach in 2001 when the Diamondbacks won the World Series and the following year when they won the NL West. Melvin also coached for Milwaukee under Phil Garner, now an A’s adviser. They worked together with the Tigers, too.
Melvin played 10 seasons in the majors as a catcher with Detroit, San Francisco, Baltimore, Kansas City, Boston, the Yankees and White Sox. He batted .233 with 35 homers and 212 RBIs in 1,955 career at-bats.
Melvin was born in Palo Alto, went to high school in Menlo Park, played at Cal and spent time with the Giants in the majors.
When he became interim manager, Melvin called it “a dream come true.”
“He’s a good fit for this team and this organization,” pitcher Rich Harden said. “I know a lot of the guys here like him and I’m one of those guys. I like him a lot and respect the guy. What he’s done here, it’s been a good change for the organization.”
While many figure Garner will stay put to work with Melvin, Garner doesn’t want to commit to anything just yet. Garner said Tuesday he would need to run any potential job offer or decision by his wife, Carol, considering “I already told her I’d retire — twice,” Garner said.
“I’ll consider it,” said Garner, noting the couple just began building a home in Texas. “I have no plans. If I felt I could help out. … It’s Bob’s call. If it goes well for him (with a new contract), after that we’ll see. What’s not to enjoy? They’re good people around here.”
Garner came aboard as a special adviser to the A’s in August. Oakland was his first major league club.
Garner, who managed the Brewers, Detroit and Houston Astros, has spent regular time around the team.
The 62-year-old Garner owns a 985-1,054 career managerial record over 15 seasons. A three-time All-Star, Garner delivered the 10,000th hit in Oakland history against the California Angels on June 27, 1975.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)