In the 13 years since Doug Melvin became general manager of the Milwaukee Brewers went from being a celler-dweller in the National League Central Division to their first playoff appearance since 1982, and were a mainstay among playoff contenders from 2008-2014. But after last seasons second-half collapse and a poor first half that led to the team’s current rebuilding period, on Tuesday the Brewers and Melvin announced that he would step down from his position and take on an advisory role within the organization. The team was 48-65 at the time, and had already fired manager Ron Roenicke earlier in the year, and were sellers at the trade deadline; dealing Carlos Gomez, Aramis Ramirez, Mike Fiers, and Gerardo Parra for prospects.

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.

He was among the longest-tenured GMs in baseball, behind Brian Sabean of the San Francisco Giants (19 years), Billy Beane of the Oakland Athletics (18 years) and Brian Cashman of the New York Yankees (17 years). During his time with the Brewers, Melvin had a 1,004-1,052 record and two trips to the playoffs.

Melvin joined the team on Sept. 26, 2002, as the eighth general manager in the team’s history. He won the Wild Card in 2008, ending a 26-year playoff drought backed by the midseason acquisition of CC Sabathia for prospect Matt LaPorta (who never lived up to his lofty expectation) and then took the National League Central in 2011, with the best single-season record in franchise history after another midseason trade; this time for Zach Greinke. They made it to the NLCS that year, and Melvin was named Executive of the Year by Baseball America.

He had his fair share of failed decisions, none bigger than the five-year/$105 million extension to Ryan Braun after 2011, but before his HGH-charges began. His biggest success’s were his big-name trades; as he stole Sabathia and then brought in Greinke, with both moves being the difference makers that led them to the playoffs those seasons. And while he was able to develop high-end offensive players in Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder, and even Gomez (who had his best years in Milwaukee after being cast-off in New York and Minnesota), he only developed one front-line starting pitcher during his tenure in Yovani Gallardo, who is now with the Rangers.

He was also always hampered by the constraints of a small market team. He never even attempted to resign Sabathia, who landed huge money with the Yankees that year. The same thing happened with Greinke, which necessitated the 2012 trade that sent him to the Angels (though that did land him current starting shortstop Jean Segura). He also saw Fielder leave for greener pastures with the Tigers after the 2011 season.

Adam McCalvy of reports that the Brewers are looking for someone with “a knowledge of analytics” to fill Melvin’s role, which makes it sound like a culture change is afoot in Milwaukee. That’s a stark contrast to the old-school Melvin, who was quoted as saying this to the New York Daily News last year:

“Why can’t these (stat) guys ever admit they’re wrong? A lot of them don’t even watch the games. But then everything has changed so much in baseball. Everything now has to be immediate. We live in a world of Instagrams when, more than any other sport, the most important thing in baseball is that you’ve got to be patient.”

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