Brewers, Melvin negotiate long-term deal

MILWAUKEE -- General manager Doug Melvin is negotiating a long-term contract extension with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Melvin took over as GM on Sept. 26, 2002, and has been able to find good players on the waiver wire to plug roster holes while the organization develops minor league prospects.

The Brewers entered the final week of the season within reach of their first non-losing season since 1992.

"Doug Melvin's contract is absolutely being extended," owner Mark Attanasio said before the Brewers-Reds "free admission" game at Miller Park. "We're just working through the details. I had hoped to get that done before the season was over. Given everything going on, we didn't get to it. But my guess is in the first month-and-a-half, we'll have something done there."

Attanasio wouldn't say what, if anything, was a sticking point.

"When you work on something like that you, you try to work on the whole, so it's all under discussion now in terms of financial terms and length and all that," Attanasio said." But it will definitely be a meaningful extension. Doug has done an unbelievable job. I think everybody here recognizes that."

Melvin, 54, didn't answer his cell phone when The Associated Press tried to reach him for comment.

After Melvin signs off on his new deal, he'll likely extend the
contract of manager Ned Yost, whose club option for next year has
been exercised.

When Attanasio purchased the team from the Selig family late
last year, he increased player payroll from a league-low $27.5
million in 2004 to more than $40 million this season and he gave
himself a three-year window to build a team that could be
consistently competitive.

He said this year's performance increased his hopes for 2006.

"My expectations, as well as the expectations of the community,
have been raised, obviously, because of what we've done this
year," he said.

"We need to bring in, generally, younger players and develop
younger players we already have that can help us over the next
three to five seasons," he said. "And with that, I would expect
the payroll will go up."

One possibility will be for Melvin to dangle slugger Carlos Lee,
who has one year at $8.5 million left on his contract, as trade
bait over the winter rather than give him a huge extension.