Paul Molitor’s future with Twins remains uncertain after this season
Paul Molitor is presiding over a respectable turnaround for the Minnesota Twins this season after the organization bottomed out with 59-103 campaign in 2016. But the manager’s future nevertheless remains the definition of uncertain.
The Twins (49-51), despite their many shortcomings, surprisingly remain on the fringes of playoff contention. Even with the relative success of the season, the Minnesota-born Molitor is operating under the final year of his three-year deal.
The team hired Derek Falvey and Thad Levine to run the baseball operation this past offseason. But their hiring was contingent upon retaining Molitor, per an edict from Twins owner Jim Pohlad.
That said, it appears Falvey, the Twins’ chief baseball officer, and Levine, the general manager, will have the final say on Molitor’s future following the 2017 season. Pohlad referred to last season’s demand as “an unusual circumstance.”
Molitor believes the Twins are “headed in the right direction” despite a recent slide that now leaves them six games back of the AL Central-leading Cleveland Indians. Pohlad is inclined to agree.
Falvey has praised Molitor for keeping “open lines of communication” throughout the season and appears to appreciate what Molitor brings to the table.
That doesn’t mean Molitor will be around in 2018, although Falvey stressed no evaluation has been made, much less a decision. Falvey stated while internal discussions have occurred, “out of respect to Paul and the players, we’ll discuss [Molitor’s future] at a later date.”
Still, Molitor remains focused on managing, not his future.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a concern. I don’t have time to give it much thought, as to whether they’re even thinking about that now,” Molitor said, via the Star Tribune. “They have their reasons for not putting it on the table, and that’s fine. We’re more concentrated on finishing the season the best we can.”
The case can be made that Molitor has earned a contract extension. That said, new regimes often prefer to hand-pick their manager, which Falvey and Levine weren’t allowed to do upon their hiring.
In other words, it still remains unclear whether Molitor will be back or not in 2018.