Things have been a bit tumultuous in Brewer Land over the past week or two, but owner Mark Attanasio provided a bit of long-term certainty on Tuesday, inking Doug Melvin and Ron Roenicke to contract extensions. Melvin will now be under contract through the 2015 season with the added title of President of Baseball Operations, while Roenicke is guaranteed through 2014 with an option for 2015.
Neither extension should be considered a surprise — even with the team’s recent on-field struggles — as negotiations have been ongoing since the start of spring training. The contracts for Melvin and Roenicke were set to expire after this season, but considering the team’s franchise-record win total last year, neither were in any real jeopardy of not returning. The only real surprise here is that it took until May for the deals to get done.
While you won’t find many people griping about the Melvin deal, the Roenicke extension does have its fair share of detractors. Part of that is the Brewers’ current standing in the NL Central, part of it is his managerial style and part of it is some simply believing he shouldn’t have been the hire in the first place. Still, like it or not, it would have been unrealistic to expect Roenicke to be two-and-done. Ken Macha was dumped after two seasons, but he didn’t “win” 96 games in his first season, coming up two wins shy of the World Series. Once that happened, with the contract Roenicke signed, he was going to get more than just a second year. Anything else would have been unprecedented in the franchise’s history.
Attanasio joined the FS Wisconsin broadcast Tuesday night to talk about the extensions. While there was speculation from Brian Anderson and Bill Schroeder that the deals were a sign to the players that things in the future will be stable, Attanasio said the timing was just coincidental.
“This was the time it got done. It was always the plan to extend both … it really just happened that way,” he said during his visit to the booth in the 3rd inning.
If you’re interested in more extension reaction, it looks like Melvin will be appearing on WSSP 1250 Wednesday morning at about 9 a.m. No doubt his new deal and promotion will be among the topics of discussion.
UPDATE: Here’s what Melvin had to say about his contract extension and new title during his radio hit this morning:
“At the end of last year, Mark had talked about wanting to extend the contract, and in the offseason we just got extremely busy even after 96 wins, that we just tabled it and said we shouldn’t have any problems with it, I’d like to remain a Brewer, and let’s go to work first and we can talk about it later. We picked up in spring training and, you know, I knew about this a couple weeks ago and we waited until this particular time to announce it.”
On what the title “President of Baseball Operations” means:
“I’m trying to figure that out, too. It’s the way the structure of baseball is going a little bit, and when you have a senior — and I guess I’m old enough to be a senior…but you see it in the structure of baseball, the Cubs named Theo Epstein president of — he might be the president of the club, I don’t know — but some of the veteran guys have been president of baseball operations. The title wasn’t important here, but it’s just the way the structure of baseball is going and I think we all know who’s in charge — Mark Attanasio’s in charge — and Mark has put his trust in me being in charge of the baseball operations. So you know, I think it’s just to let people know — and I think we already know that — between Mark and myself we run the baseball operation, which is a big operation. I wouldn’t worry about wearing the title out, it’s just important to know we have a lot of baseball operations a part of our department.”
You can listen to Melvin’s entire interview on WSSP’s site.