Bob Melvin is on his way to collecting Manager of the Year and one massive raise

Oakland A’s boss remains under contract through the end of 2019

Karl Buscheck
August 27, 2018 - 1:15 pm

In an alternate baseball universe, Bob Melvin is the manager of the New York Yankees. In this one, Melvin and his Oakland A's, improbably, are chasing the Yankees for the top American League wild-card spot and the Houston Astros for supremacy in the West.

It’s truly remarkable.

All five members of his original rotation are either on the disabled list or in the minors. Youngsters anchor the starting lineup, with a sprinkling of veterans like Khris Davis, Jed Lowrie and Jonathan Lucroy. The bullpen, bolstered by a trio of trades, is as good as it gets.

For more than two months, Melvin’s bunch has been the best team in baseball — and it’s not particularly close.

Melvin is doing all of this amid contractual uncertainty — he’s inked through the end of 2019 — and while being seriously underpaid.

Per USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, Melvin is banking $2.5 million in 2018. That’s the ninth-highest figure in baseball, but it’s less than half of what the top earners make.

  • Mike Scioscia, Los Angeles Angels: $6 million
  • Joe Maddon, Chicago Cubs, $6 million
  • Bruce Bochy, San Francisco Giants: $6 million
  • Terry Francona, Cleveland Indians: $4 million
  • Buck Showalter, Baltimore Orioles: $4 million
  • Ned Yost, Kansas City Royals: $3.7 million
  • Clint Hurdle, Pittsburgh Pirates: $3 million
  • John Farrell, Boston Red Sox: $3 million (fired)

Lost in the magical march of the summer is Melvin’s contract situation. Executive VP Billy Beane and GM David Forst are also dangling in the wind, but that’s for another story.

The team gave the manager a one year-extension through 2019 in September. Then in November, as has been well documented, the A's blocked Melvin from interviewing for the Yankees’ opening.

One MLB team official said it was “total and utter bullsh--” that the A’s snubbed Melvin out of the interview and predicted that he would walk at the end of 2019 if he doesn’t get a new deal this offseason.

Another source, with direct knowledge of the situation, said it was John Fisher, the A’s recluse owner, not Beane, who blocked Melvin from speaking with the Yankees, adding that Beane would have never stopped the skipper from pursuing such an obvious promotion.

Fast forward to the present, and thanks to his wizardry in the dugout, Melvin’s on his way to winning Manager of the Year for the third time.

He’s also building an excellent case to vault himself into the Bochy stratosphere when it comes to signing his next deal — either in Oakland or elsewhere.

Over the weekend, Ray Fosse, the club’s longtime TV analyst, summarized the situation best on the NBC California broadcast.

“All he wants to do is win, baby, win," Fosse said. "And he loves managing the Oakland A’s.”

“Everybody’s talking about signing this player and this player. You better lock that guy up because...”

“I mean, Bob Melvin’s contract expires after ‘19. And here we are in late August of ‘18. But, there are not many in baseball like him. Matter of fact, I can’t think of any like him — at least in the American League. Don’t see the National League that much.”

“Bob Melvin is in terrific territory (or) category when it comes to managers. The staff is great and the players I believe play for him because of the way he is, communicates and manages. He makes a big difference.”

One way or another, Bob Melvin is going to get a monster raise.

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