The Twins have fired international scouting coordinator Howard Norsetter, according to two sources with knowledge of the decision. It’s the latest in a series of moves as Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey and General Manager Thad Levine continue to makeover the organization.
Norsetter, who lives in Australia, was informed of the team’s plans earlier this week while on a scouting trip to Japan.
Norsetter had been with the Twins since 1991, when he was their Canadian/Australian scout. He’s credited with the signing of Justin Morneau, among others. And it was under Norsetter’s tenure that the team became one of the big players in Australia, with Grant Balfour, Liam Hendricks, Luke Hughes and James Beresford among the players from that country who reached the majors after signing with the Twins.
Norsetter later became international scouting coordinator, focusing on everywhere other than Latin America. Max Kepler, who signed in 2009, is his most noteworthy find. Kepler was part of the same international signing class as Miguel Sano and Jorge Polanco.
But there were misses too. Norsetter scouted Tsuyoshi Nishioka before the Twins signed him in 2010. After two underwhelming seasons with the Twins, Nishioka asked to be released from his contract.
And the Twins signed ByungHo Park before the 2016 season. Park played 62 games for the Twins last year before being sent to the minors, where his season was cut short by wrist surgery. And Park spent all of this season at Class AAA Rochester.
It’s been a busy several weeks for the Twins, has they have fired personnel in baseball operations, the scouting department and player development. Former first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz was let go last week as manager of Class A Fort Myers.
Meanwhile, the Twins are in the process of expanding their research department, player development and medical services.