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Ted Schwerzler

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Today the Minnesota Twins announced that Paul Molitor will not be brought back as Manager in 2019. With two years remaining on his freshly signed three year deal, it may come as a surprise to some, but it really shouldn't. While it hasn't been a certainty that the Twins front office would make a change, the signs have been there for some time. Now with the opportunity to hire their guy, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine prepare for a pivotal offseason.

 

Molitor was offered a three-year extension following the 2017 season. Despite looking like he would be let go last season, Molitor's Twins got into the playoffs and he earned a Manager of the Year award because of it. With the Manager of the Year award being loosely tied to surprise performances, it's not a huge shock he was the one voters selected. Had he missed the postseason however, the award likely lands elsewhere, and the three-year deal never gets done.

 

Being brought back this season, it appeared that Minnesota's front office thought long and hard about the decision. He was not immediately re-upped last winter, and there was never any glowing indications of support from the top during the 2018 slate. While he was offered a three-year contract, a two-year deal after such a close decision for change likely would've looked like little more than a placeholder.

 

Certainly there will be some Twins fans that can't wrap their head around guys like Brian Dozier and Eduardo Escobar being gone in the same season. Adding St. Paul native Paul Molitor to that list isn't going to do management any favors with that crowd. However, give the front office credit for not concerning themselves with those opinions. Making baseball decisions based on feelings or how an individual relates to an organization is a good way to quickly venture down a wrong road. At the end of the day, fans clamor for winning more than anything else, and being solely focused on that purpose is of the utmost importance.

 

Embarking upon one of the most important offseasons in recent memory, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine will now begin with a managerial search. They are able to bring in someone of their choosing, and internal candidates such as Derek Shelton and Jeff Pickler could be waiting in the wings. The ties to Texas and Cleveland still reside in both, so Sandy Alomar or Jeff Bannister may be of some intrigue as well. I'm not sure where they turn, but I'm of the opinion that it will be a good source regardless.

 

While there's been some in-season roster decisions I've found myself in disagreement with the front office, the vast majority of trades, acquisitions, and moves have been well executed. Although it's easy to mock a process that seems new or uncertain, it's also hard to really dig in and not see positive ripples reflecting throughout the system.

 

Managers don't make an incredible impact during a Major League Baseball season, but Paul Molitor generally did less with more during games. He left opportunity on the table, and neither Byron Buxton or Miguel Sano truly developed under his tutelage. The organization wanting to get someone on staff that can take the big league club to new heights is a worthy ask. Now that Molitor is out, Falvine is in and it's on them to find who's next in charge.

 

For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz

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