The Twins made a couple of important signings Wednesday, but not for the team in uniform.
Derek Falvey and Thad Levine, the architects of the Twins’ American League Central champions, have agreed to contract extensions to remain in charge of the team’s baseball operations, a source with knowledge of the negotiations confirmed. Contract terms have not been disclosed, but the new deals are intended to keep the team’s chief baseball officer and general manager in Minneapolis through at least 2024.
In Falvey’s case, the new contract comes with a new title, too: President of Baseball Operations. His duties remain the same, but the title, replacing Executive Vice President and Chief Baseball Officer, puts him on equal footing with other teams’ top executives around the league.
Twins President and CEO Dave St. Peter declined to comment Wednesday on the new contracts, but said, “Obviously we are thrilled with the job Derek and Thad have done. They have been instrumental in making the Twins a championship quality team, but also a championship quality organization.”
Falvey and Levine, who are attending the annual MLB general managers’ meetings in Scottsdale, Ariz., this week, were hired in October 2016 to replace longtime General Manager Terry Ryan, and given five-year contracts through the 2021 season. This week’s extensions add three years to those deals, through 2024.
In three seasons with the Twins, the pair has led the franchise through a major overhaul and expansion of the team’s front office and entire baseball operation. In doing so, they have overseen two postseason appearances in three seasons, including the 2019 AL Central championship, the Twins’ first since 2010.
That success made Falvey, a native of Lynn, Mass., a logical candidate when the Red Sox were seeking a new boss of their baseball operations last month, as several media reports in Boston pointed out. While Falvey never pursued the job that eventually went to Tampa Bay’s Chaim Bloom, the Twins wanted to make sure he would remain in the Twin Cities. Levine, too, occasionally appears on lists of potential candidates for promotions elsewhere.
Under Falvey and Levine, the Twins have expanded their emphasis on statistical analysis and player development, and are recognized as one of the game’s more creative teams. The pair has largely utilized players acquired during Ryan’s tenure over the past three seasons, but also traded for righthander Jake Odorizzi, signed free agents Marwin Gonzalez, Nelson Cruz and Jonathan Schoop, and claimed C.J. Cron off waivers.
The combination produced a memorable turnaround season in 2019, with 101 victories and an MLB-record 307 home runs. The season ended in disappointment, however, when the Yankees swept the Twins in three games, extending the team’s postseason losing streak to 16 games.
Falvey, 36, began his career with the Cleveland Indians in 2007, eventually working his way up to assistant general manager before being hired by Twins owner Jim Pohlad in 2016. Levine, who turned 48 on Tuesday, worked in the Dodgers and Rockies front offices before being hired as assistant general manager of the Texas Rangers in 2005.