OAKLAND -- The A's made significant strides on the field in 2018, winning 97 games and returning to the playoffs for the first time in four years.
They took another major step forward Monday, announcing contract extensions for manager Bob Melvin, general manager David Forst and executive vice president Billy Beane.
"From the moment I got here, it's been a special place for me," Melvin said. "This has always been the place for me. I've been a couple of places before, but the minute I got here, I knew this was really the one place I wanted to be and wanted to stay."
Forst echoed those sentiments: "This has always been the place I wanted to be. Ownership has always been very loyal to me, and the people we have here make this a great place to work."
Beane confirmed that Melvin's contract will run through the 2021 season, with a club option for 2022. Forst's will last through 2023.
"The fact that we all have stayed and want to stay, there's something pretty special about this place," Beane said. "There are some things we don't have, which are obvious, and there are some things we do have. We have stability and we have loyalty. It goes back a long way here."
The extensions alone won't convince every A's fan of the team's commitment, but they certainly are a nice start.
Beane provided some more welcome news with regard to the team's payroll.
"We anticipate the payroll going up," he said. "We're still working on (the details). I think we're going to take a little more strategic view, looking over a longer period of time instead of just one year at a time, which I think is a good way to do it. ... It will continue to go up year after year after year. We've already had that discussion."
The A's have several key players eligible for arbitration or free agency, so an increase in payroll is a necessity. A's fans have grown accustomed to seeing their best players traded away for financial reasons, but Beane insists ownership is fully committed to both a winning product and a new stadium.
"That's one of the reasons we're here," he said. "If (Melvin and Forst) didn't feel there was that commitment, they probably would have opted to go somewhere else."
Of course many A's fans will remain skeptical, having heard that line before. Only time will tell if this truly is a new era of A's baseball, but Monday was a great start.