The rebuilding of the last-place Milwaukee Brewers will be overseen by a new general manager.
Doug Melvin will be leaving his job after 13 years in Milwaukee. The team and Melvin said Tuesday he will continue to lead the baseball operations department before "transitioning into an advisory role."
Owner Mark Attanasio has hired an executive search firm to help find a new general manager. Attanasio plans to begin asking for permission to interview candidates this week during the owners meeting in Chicago, the team said.
The Brewers, 48-65 and with the second-worst record in the NL, are in Chicago to start a three-game series with the Cubs.
Catcher Jonathan Lucroy said that while he had heard "rumblings" for a while about the move, he was happy for Melvin, who drafted him in the third round in 2007.
"I know he's been doing this a long time and the game's only getting more and more complicated in terms of analytics. I know that Doug's an old-school guy," Lucroy said before Tuesday's game.
"He goes on gut feeling and stuff like that a lot. I think he was (kind of) ready to start doing something different."
The roster makeover had already started under Melvin when he dealt veterans including Carlos Gomez, Aramis Ramirez and Gerardo Parra before the July 31 trade deadline. The Brewers received promising minor league outfielder Brett Phillips among four prospects from Houston for trading Gomez and starting pitcher Mike Fiers to the Astros.
Melvin fired manager Ron Roenicke in May and replaced him with Craig Counsell. But the Brewers never recovered after going 5-17 in April. The problems were compounded by injuries to Gomez and Lucroy.
Milwaukee is hoping that emerging young starters Jimmy Nelson, Wily Peralta and rookie Taylor Jungmann can provide the pitching base for the rebuilding process.
This disappointing season comes in the aftermath of the late collapse in 2014 when the Brewers fell out of first place and the playoff race.
Speaking to MLB Network, Melvin said he had a "gut feeling" that it was time to move on, though the decision was something he had been weighing for the past year. Counsell had been working in various capacities in the front office for the past few years before becoming manager.
"I think you're always surprised when the actual announcement's made. But I guess over the last year I was up there, it felt he was close to the end of being the general manager," Counsell said.
He got a three-year deal as skipper. Counsell said he is not a candidate.
Melvin joined the Brewers on Sept. 26, 2002 as the eighth general manager in the team's history. A team starving for success won the NL wild card in 2008 and the NL Central in 2011.
The following year, Melvin signed a contract extension keeping him with the team through this season. He was also promoted to president of baseball operations and general manager.
One of his biggest moves was signing outfielder Ryan Braun to a $105 million, five-year extension in 2011 that linked him to the club through 2020.
Melvin dealt for starter Zack Greinke from Kansas City in the 2010 offseason, a move that bolstered the club's rotation in the run to the playoffs the following year. Greinke was dealt in 2012 to the Los Angeles Angels in a four-player trade in which the Brewers received Jean Segura, who is now their starting shortstop.
Melvin acquired C.C. Sabathia from Cleveland in July of the 2008 playoff season in what amounted to a half-year rental. The left-hander signed as a free agent with the New York Yankees the following offseason.
Now 63, Melvin apparently feels it's time to move on.
Before joining the Brewers, Melvin was general manager of the Texas Rangers from 1996-2001, with the Rangers making their first postseason appearance in his first year with the team.
Melvin's front-office career includes seven years as a scout with the New York Yankees (1979-85). He is one of five Canadians to serve as a major league general manager. As a player, Melvin pitched for six seasons in the minors with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Yankees.
This version corrects the spelling to 'Attanasio' in the second reference to the owner in third paragraph.
AP Sports Writer Andrew Seligman in Chicago contributed to this report.