DETROIT – The Twins’ search for a president of baseball operations is moving ahead, possibly on a faster timetable than originally believed.
While the club had previously indicated it could wait until late October to name its hire, Twins President Dave St. Peter said Thursday that it’s possible the team could announce something before the end of the regular season.
“It is feasible that we may find ourselves in a position to name a new leader by the end of the current season,” said St. Peter, who declined to discuss specific candidates. “That certainly is within reach. It’s certainly not a requirement, but I think I have reason to believe that it is possible.”
The Twins could name someone in the coming weeks but the start date of that hire might not be until late October or early November. That would especially be the case if the Twins hire someone from an organization in the middle of a postseason run.
An organization such as the Cubs, for instance.
Jason McLeod, the Cubs senior vice president of scouting and player development, will interview with the Twins as soon as Chicago clinches the NL Central Division title, according to a person with knowledge of the search. The Cubs did just that Thursday night when second-place St. Louis lost.
J.J. Picollo, an executive with the Royals, has already interviewed.
Media reports on Thursday named Indians assistant GM Derek Falvey as another candidate.
This comes a few days after sources told the Star Tribune that Dodgers executive Alex Anthopoulos was never a serious candidate — which differs from national reports saying he took his name out of the running — and that former Red Sox GM Ben Cherington declined an interview, citing personal reasons. Cherington on Wednesday was named to a lesser role with the Blue Jays, a team located much closer to his family in New York.
Yahoo Sports reporter Jeff Passan then tweeted Wednesday, “Multiple GM types have rebuffed their interest [in the Twins] so far,” a statement that irked some Twins officials. St. Peter said he has been pleased with the hiring process and believes it will end with them finding the right person.
“We certainly understand and appreciate the high level of interest in our search,” St. Peter said. “We also recognize that a search of this nature is going to bring in a heavy dose of speculation. I will just say that it also brought a heavy dose of misinformation. Unfortunately, that is a product of the media world we live in today.”
There also are indications that the Twins have been turned down by some teams when they requested to speak with potential candidates.
The Twins fired GM Terry Ryan on July 18 and soon expressed a desire to hire a president of baseball operations — a different title with similar responsibilities. That person would have the power to appoint a general manager.
St. Peter has said the team has reached out to many candidates and have conducted several interviews, which have taken place in the Twin Cities and also out of town. Whether it is true or not, there is a belief by many in baseball that the Twins are behind the times, and the club has stated a desire to find someone to move the organization forward. Scouting and player development, in particular, need to be improved.
“As we go forward, we continue to feel really good about our process and continue to have confirmation that this is a great job and a wonderful opportunity for the right leader,” St. Peter said. “Most importantly, we feel real good and are excited about the slate of candidates.”