The Athletics announced on Thursday that manager Bob Melvin agreed to a one-year contract extension that will keep him in Oakland through the 2019 season. Melvin signed a two-year extension with the Athletics in September 2015, so he was already under contract for next season.
The Athletics are a meager 73-85 this season and won fewer than 70 games in both 2015 and ’16. But the club has certainly shown improvement this year, particularly in September, winning 15 of 25 games for its first .500 or better month of the season.
Melvin, 55, has managed the Athletics since 2011 to a collective regular season record of 535-532. The team made the playoffs three years in a row from 2012-14 but is currently on a three-year playoff drought.
Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”
Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.
Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.