A's, Melvin agree to extension

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Bob Melvin is staying put in his native Bay Area, right where he has said he wants to be well into the future.

The Athletics manager received a two-year contract extension Monday that takes him through the 2016 season after he led Oakland to a surprising AL West title last year.

Oakland became the first team in major league history to win a division or pennant after trailing by five games with less than 10 to play, sweeping three games against Texas to win the division over the Rangers.

Oakland lost to Detroit in the deciding game of its best-of-five AL division series. The A’s ended a five-year stretch without a winning record or playoff berth, finishing 94-68 with a majors-best 14 walkoff wins by a young team and rotation of rookies.

The A’s did it with a payroll of $59.5 million – lowest in the majors – and 12 rookies. Melvin was voted AL Manager of the Year.

RULE CHANGE: Interpreters may be able to make mound trips with managers and pitching coaches this year.

Baseball owners approved the rules change when they met last week in Paradise Valley, Ariz. The change, which would be used to assist pitchers not fluent in English, now goes to the players’ association, which also must approve it for the change to start this year.

The owners’ vote was first reported by ESPN.com.

DIAMONDBACKS: Reliever J.J. Putz agreed to a $13.5 million, two-year contract with Arizona, a deal that adds a $7 million salary for 2014.

ORIOLES: Pitcher Tommy Hunter agreed to a $1.82 million, one-year contract, more than tripling his salary of $493,500 last year.

The 26-year-old right-hander was 7-8 with a 5.45 ERA in 20 starts and 13 relief appearances last year and was a big part of the Orioles’ push that earned the team’s first playoff appearance since 1997.


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