OAKLAND In what A's general manager Billy Beane called the easiest contract negotiation he has ever conducted, manager Bob Melvin received a two-year extension through 2016 Monday.
Melvin, who was named the American League Manager of the Year after guiding the A's to 94 wins and the A.L. West title against long odds last season, was already under contract through 2014 based on a three-year deal he signed in September 2011. But Beane wanted to ensure the franchise of more continuity with Melvin as an integral piece.
"From our standpoint, when you've got somebody you think who's absolutely perfect for your organization, I think you're foolish not to be proactive, and that was the case with Bob's contract," Beane said. "I also thought it was important that Bob's contract somewhat mirrored myself, David (Forst, assistant general manager) and others in the front office. It should parallel the same track we have."
Beane is signed through 2015 with an option for 2016, and Forst's deal runs through 2016. In short, Oakland's brain trust is in place for the long term.
"Bob will be there for the foreseeable future, and that's what we want with all of our key people," owner Lew Wolff said. "The performance that he produced was just amazing and wonderful. The way he motivates everybody around him was just outstanding. He expects us to win every game, and I'm always happy to hear that."
Beane said Melvin's extension offer was initiated and concluded over a few phone calls chatting about regular day-to-day business. Terms of the extension were not disclosed beyond the length.
"Bob and I talk quite a bit, and it was weaved into our conversation," he said. "The actual writing of it took longer than the actual negotiation."
Melvin verified that, noting, "I think we sat down for maybe two minutes and discussed the details of the contract. That's really about how long it took."
Melvin said the A's have felt like a perfect fit for him since he took over midway through the 2011 season after Bob Geren was fired.
Despite a patchwork spring roster that was the lowest paid in major league baseball, Melvin molded the club into a contender that won its first division title since 2006 and pushed Detroit to five games in the A.L. Division Series before being shut down by the Tigers' Justin Verlander.
"From the minute I got here, I have felt welcome from Billy, Lew, (team president) Michael Crowley, all the front office staff and the players," he said. "Everything has been so fluid here. On top of that, you get an extension like this from the people you respect and admire, it really makes you feel good and makes you feel better about doing your job."
Meanwhile, the A's re-signed catcher George Kottaras to a one-year deal.