Doug Melvin has been the Brewers general manager since 2002. He has been with the organization so long, in fact, that he is now the fifth-longest tenured GM in baseball: Only Dave Dombrowski (Tigers), Brian Cashman (Yankees), Billy Beane (Athletics) and Brian Sabean (Giants) have served in that position with their current organizations longer.
Ron Roenicke has been with the Brewers since November 2010, taking the reigns as a first-time manager after the departure of Ken Macha from the organization. With manager changes being so prevalent, Roenicke is already the fifth-longest serving NL manager.
Both Melvin and Roenicke, however, lack future security. Both are entering the 2015 season on expiring contracts, leaving neither with any assurances they will be with the team after the upcoming season.
Not that having multiple years remaining on contracts is a strong indicator that a GM or manager will stick around, of course. The financial guarantees are typically low enough for those jobs that teams are willing to let someone in those positions go if the job they are doing proves to be inadequate.
Roenicke's future is the more tenuous of the two Brewers' lame ducks. There were talks that he might be let go after last season when the Brewers suffered a dreadful second-half collapse after leading the division for most of the year. Instead, Milwaukee let go of a couple coaches on Roenicke's staff. If the team starts off poorly next year, Roenicke might be out sooner than later.
In fact, Roenicke was asked in a recent Journal Sentinel interview about the possibility of being fired if the team was slow out of the gates this upcoming season, saying:
I don't know. I can't think about things that way. I know I've got a contract this year and I'll try to do the best I can. I can't control what happens with that. I just plan to get the guys playing well, and hopefully we'll get off to a good start again and we'll see what happens.
Melvin, on the other hand, perhaps has more job security. His years with the team will help in that, along with the fact that he has been the man to build the Brewers from perennial losers to a squad that has had a winning season five of the last eight years while making the postseason twice. Melvin has had his detractors, but overall has been a highly effective general manager.
That said, we can't underestimate owner Mark Attanasio's desire to win coming into play. Attanasio doesn't seem like the kind of person to lend a ton of merit to past success. If there isn't continued winning, he is likely unafraid to make a change. Melvin has had a fairly quiet off-season, but did acquire an actual first baseman for the first time in years and traded away long-time starter Yovani Gallardo.
There has also been very little news on Melvin's future with the team. Part of that may be the fact that neither side seems terribly worried about getting a new deal done because they are so comfortable with one another. Part may be team leadership wanting to see how the 2015 season plays out, first.
Still more may be the fact that Melvin is 62 years old and is now the fifth-oldest general manager in baseball. Only John Hart, Jack Zduriencik, Walt Jocketty and Sandy Alderson are older than Melvin as baseball seems to be heading towards younger general managers in general. It's possible that Melvin, as he gets older, may prefer to advance to a higher and less-stressful role such as team president. That would allow him to have some control over the direction of the team without the day-to-day rigors.
For now, however, there has been very little word about the two lame duck contracts. The future of both may be highly dependent on how the team performs in 2015, but the Brewers should still have ample time to work out any potential extensions with Doug Melvin or Ron Roenicke if they so choose.