Baseball / MLB

Twins fire manger Paul Molitor after losing season

AP

Two years ago, the Minnesota Twins made Derek Falvey their chief baseball officer with the precondition that Paul Molitor remain as manager.

Molitor presided over a playoff team and won the American League Manager of the Year award in 2017, but the Twins slipped backward this season. Last week, Falvey and general manager Thad Levine decided the time was right to hire their own manager.

Citing pursuit of more productive development by their younger players, Falvey and Levine fired Molitor on Tuesday while offering him an opportunity to remain with the organization in an undefined position in baseball operations.

“This wasn’t about our record this year. This is about what we think is best as we continue to grow a young team in the direction toward being a championship contender,” Falvey said.

Falvey and other club executives expressed confidence that Molitor would stay with the Twins beyond the 20 years he has already worked for them in various roles, including the final three seasons of his Hall of Fame playing career.

“I fully respect that decision,” Molitor said in a statement distributed by the team. “I will forever be grateful for the opportunity they gave me to serve in the role as manager for these past four years. I’m going to consider their genuine offer to serve in a different capacity to positively impact the Twins from a different role.”

The Twins went 305-343 under the 62-year-old Molitor, with one appearance in the playoffs in 2017. They were 78-84 this year, long out of postseason contention after a series of early setbacks to several key players.