Bob Melvin extension among A’s offseason priorities
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Oakland Athletics plan to discuss a contract extension with manager Bob Melvin this offseason as well as possible new deals with home run leader Khris Davis and All-Star second baseman Jed Lowrie.
Two days after the A’s lost to the New York Yankees in a wild-card game, team officials began mapping out the framework for 2019 with hopes of capitalizing on the team’s first playoff appearance in four years.
Signing Melvin, Oakland’s manager since 2011, to an extension is high on the list of things to do. He’s currently signed through the 2019 season.
“Bob’s one of the best in the game and he’s perfect for us,” said Executive Vice President Billy Beane, who appeared before reporters Friday along with Melvin and general manager David Forst. “The idea is that he’s here for a long time and the rest of his career. Our feeling is that Bob’s the right guy for this club and should be going forward. (That’s) another question that we hope to have answered in the offseason.”
The A’s playoff appearance was the fourth in eight seasons under Melvin. Oakland’s 97-65 record was also the best mark of Melvin’s managerial career.
The 56-year-old skipper said he still hasn’t gotten over the wild-card loss to the Yankees but is optimistic about Oakland’s prospects for next season.
“As impressive as some of these younger players were, we feel like they can even get better so I’m excited about where we’re going from here,” Melvin said. “I expect us to have results again next year. Obviously, we’re going to have to add some pieces and make some decisions on some free agents but I’m really excited about where this team’s going.”
Davis isn’t scheduled to be a free agent until after the 2019 season but the A’s are hopeful of getting the slugger inked to a long-term deal before then.
Davis led the majors with 48 home runs this year, his third consecutive season with 40-plus homers.
“We’ve had some preliminary conversations about keeping him around longer (than 2019),” Beane said. “That’ll be part of the conversations that David, myself and Bob and the rest of the staff have.”
Lowrie’s situation is more uncertain despite his first All-Star appearance.
The veteran infielder hit .267 with a career-high 23 home runs and 99 RBIs and was a key influence inside Oakland’s mostly young clubhouse.
But Lowrie turns 35 next April and the A’s may be tempted to go with Franklin Barreto, their young prospect who hit five home runs with 16 RBIs in 73 at-bats.
“I’m happy with the year that I had and I feel like I’m going to go into the offseason and hopefully be in a good position,” Lowrie said, adding he’s open to returning to the A’s. “Free agency can be funny so you just go into it with an open mind. We’ll talk with my agent and we’ll be prepared for situations that arise.”
Catcher Jonathan Lucroy is also scheduled to become a free agent. Forst said the A’s are open to retaining both Lowrie and Lucroy.
“Jed and (Lucroy) were huge for what we did,” Forst said. “Obviously, both of those guys will be part of our conversations over the next month.”
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