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Manager Bob Melvin leaving A’s, signs with Padres

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Ending an 11-season tenure for Oakland’s skipper

Texas Rangers v Oakland Athletics Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

It’s the end of an era for the Oakland A’s.

Manager Bob Melvin has agreed to a three-year contract with the San Diego Padres, meaning he will leave Oakland after more than a decade as their skipper, reports insider A.J. Cassavell. Melvin had been under contract with the A’s for the 2022 season, but they allowed him to interview with the Padres and won’t receive any compensation for losing him, adds Cassavell.

Melvin first came to Oakland in 2011, as a midseason replacement for the awful Bob Geren. Melvin immediately turned the team around and led them to three straight playoff berths in 2012-14, then three more in 2018-20. Unfortunately the A’s missed out on another chance at the postseason this summer, but in Melvin’s 11 years at the helm he racked up 853 wins, most by any Oakland manager in history dating back to their arrival in 1968.

  • Melvin: 853-764, .528, postseason 7-13

He also picked up two Manager of the Year awards while wearing green-and-gold, once in 2012 and again in 2018. In both of those years, he led young and unproven rosters to playoff berths at the end of rebuilding cycles.

The A’s might be headed toward another rebuild this winter, but this time Melvin won’t be sticking around for it. Their win-now crew had a disappointing campaign and their stars’ salaries are rising quickly, all opening the possibility of some painful trades over the offseason as the club keeps a short leash on its meager, uncompetitive payroll.

Analysis

Bummer. I’m a huge Melvin fan and wanted him to stay as long as possible. We got 11 years!

Everyone leaves eventually, but I’d been hoping for a more memorable sendoff than this. Maybe a triumphant march into the sunset after a great season at the end of a competitive window. Instead he’s quietly slipping out the back door after a crappy performance by the team, before his contract was even over. See ya later I guess?

Also I thought teams weren’t supposed to make news during the World Series? The A’s have become so addicted to making everybody hate them as much as possible that they just couldn’t wait to get another deflating headline out there. Can’t have folks getting optimistic about a couple days of stadium news and awards finalists.

As for analysis, it can be summed up in three words: Winter is coming. We all knew a tear-down might be on the way this offseason, but this is the first tangible sign of it. If the manager wants out, then the party is probably over and they’re preparing to start over from scratch. The smart bet is lots of stars will be traded away.

Moving forward, two obvious in-house candidate to replace Melvin could be bench coach Ryan Christenson and third base coach Mark Kotsay. Both played for the A’s during their careers, and both have been on the coaching staff for a while. Christenson had success as a manager in their minor league system, while Kotsay has received attention from other teams in the past for MLB managerial jobs.

Change is coming for Oakland in 2022, starting at the top with the manager. Farewell to Melvin and thanks for a decade of great memories!