Former Cubs manager Mike Quade is one of a handful of candidates the Twins are interested in to manage their Class AAA affiliate in Rochester, N.Y.
Quade was fired last week after going 71-91 in his first full season leading the Cubs. He was 24-13 with the Cubs in 2010 after replacing Lou Piniella.
Other Rochester candidates include former Red Sox first base coach Ron Johnson, former Mets bench coach Ken Oberkfell, former Braves hitting coach Larry Parrish and former White Sox third base coach Jeff Cox. All have extensive minor league managing experience.
As of Wednesday, the Twins had spoken directly with Johnson and Cox but planned to contact the others.
Tom Nieto was fired after going 102-186 in two seasons with the Red Wings.
"We hope to have someone in place before Thanksgiving," said Jim Rantz, Twins director of minor leagues.
Toby Gardenhire out
Rantz confirmed that free-agent infielder Toby Gardenhire -- son of the Twins manager -- won't be offered a contract for the 2012 season.
Gardenhire, drafted in the 41st round in 2005, batted .247 in 103 games with the Red Wings in 2011 and appeared at second, third, short, the outfield and catcher. He even was an emergency pitcher.
"I think he wants to stay in the game," Rantz said. "He's a terrific kid. He can do a lot to help a ballclub because he's going to play a lot of positions."
GM Terry Ryan has spent the first couple of days back on the job calling every Twin who was on the major league roster last season. And that included Michael Cuddyer, who is being courted heavily by the Phillies.
Ryan didn't divulge what was said. The Twins would like to bring Cuddyer back, but the veteran outfielder spent Tuesday meeting with Phillies officials and having lunch with manager Charlie Manuel.
LA VELLE E. NEAL III