January wasn't the busiest of months for the Oakland Athletics, but a few noteworthy items should be highlighted.
First, the A's rewarded American League Manager of the Year Bob Melvin with a two-year contract extension to keep in the Oakland dugout through the 2016 season.
Melvin directed the A’s to a 94-68 record and AL West Division championship last season. He was originally named Oakland’s interim manager June 9, 2011 and subsequently signed a three-year contract through the 2014 season on Sept. 21, 2011.
The Athletics’ 94 victories represented a 20-game improvement from the previous season (74-88), the third biggest one-year turnaround in Oakland history. Melvin became the second manager in Oakland history to earn the BBWAA’s Manager of the Year award, joining Tony LaRussa (1988 and 1992).
He also became only the 14th manager in history to win the award at least twice in a career, and only the sixth manager to win the award in both leagues. Previously, Melvin was named National League Manager of the Year with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2007.
Second, the A's picked up catcher John Jaso from the Seattle Mariners in a three-team trade, and as a result, they lost catcher George Kottaras (claimed off waivers by the Kansas City Royals).
The A’s sent minor league right-handed pitchers A.J. Cole and Blake Treinen and a player to be named later to Washington, and the Nationals dealt outfielder Michael Morse to Seattle.
Jaso batted .276 with 10 home runs and 50 RBI in 108 games with Seattle last year. He also walked 56 times for a .394 on-base percentage and batted .378 with runners in scoring position.
The 29-year-old left-handed hitter had career highs in batting, on-base percentage, slugging percentage (.456), home runs, RBI and stolen bases (5). Jaso made his Major League debut with Tampa Bay in 2008 and spent three seasons with the Rays (2008, 10-11) before he was traded to Seattle following the 2011 season.
He is a .255 career hitter in 311 games.
-- Some information in this article was re-published directly from the Oakland organization's press statements on the above transactions.