The San Diego Padres have their new manager. The club has hired Bob Melvin away from the Oakland Athletics and signed him to a new three-year contract, reports MLB.com's AJ Cassavell. The Padres have not yet confirmed the news.
Earlier this year the Athletics exercised the 2022 club option in Melvin's contract. Because Melvin was under contract, the A's had to give the Padres permission to interview him, and obviously that was granted. The Athletic's Dennis Lin reports Oakland will not receive any compensation for letting Melvin out of his contract.
Melvin, 60, has been one of the best and most highly regarded managers in baseball over the last two decades or so. He joined the Athletics in 2011 and led the club to the postseason six times. Only the big market Dodgers went to the postseason more times than Oakland from 2012-20. The A's were 853-764 (.528) under Melvin with three AL West titles (2012, 2013, 2020).
Prior to joining the Athletics, Melvin managed the Mariners (2003-04) and Diamondbacks (2005-09), and he is a three-time Manager of the Year (2007, 2012, 2018). Melvin's career managerial record is 1,346-1,272 (.514). His MLB resume also includes 10 years as a player, plus time as a scout, bench coach, and assistant general manager. He's done it all.
The Padres came into 2021 as a World Series contender and instead flopped to a 79-83 record. Manager Jayce Tingler was let go after the season and Melvin brings the qualities and bona fides Tingler lacked. He's experienced, he's won, and he's an instant credibility guy when he walks into the clubhouse. Melvin is a tremendous hire for the Padres, truly.
Remarkably, Melvin is the first experienced manager the Padres have hired since Jack McKeon in 1988. Jim Riggleman (1992-94), Bruce Bochy (1996-2006), Bud Black (2007-15), Andy Green (2006-19), and Tingler (2020-21) were all rookie skippers. GM A.J. Preller clearly believes an experienced manager is needed to put the team over the top.
Preller's next priority is reinforcing a pitching staff that crumbled down the stretch this season. The club had a 5.75 ERA in September, second worst in baseball, and they had to regularly use bullpen games because they lost so many starters to injury. Mike Clevinger is expected to return from Tommy John surgery next year, though they need more than him.
As for the Athletics, letting Melvin leave is very likely the first domino in a long offseason of cost-cutting. The club cut payroll this past season and will likely do so again next year as they seek a new ballpark. It should surprise no one if roster stalwarts like Chris Bassitt, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, and Matt Olson pop up in trade rumors in the coming weeks.
Braves third base coach Ron Washington, a longtime coach with the A's and former manager with the Rangers, could be a candidate to replace Melvin in Oakland. Presumably the club will seek a manager cheaper than Melvin, who reported earned $4 million per season.
The Athletics and Mets are now the only teams without a manager. The Yankees retained Aaron Boone and the Cardinals replaced Mike Shildt with Oliver Marmol.