After nearly five weeks spent looking for a manager, the Twins appear to have settled on the first candidate they interviewed.

    Paul Molitor, a Twins coach and a Hall of Fame player who interviewed for the job just two days after Ron Gardenhire was fired last month, appears to be the team's choice. Sources with knowledge of the Twins' managerial search indicate to Star Tribune columnist Patrick Reusse that Molitor could be hired early next week, barring a last-minute change of mind by the team's owner and front office.

    Torey Lovullo, Red Sox bench coach under John Farrell, was the other finalist, and Twins owner Jim Pohlad flew to Lovullo's home in Los Angeles last week to meet him. But all indications are that Pohlad continues to prefer Molitor, a St. Paul native, as the team's third manager in 29 seasons. General manager Terry Ryan, who fired Gardenhire after 13 seasons as manager, could make the hiring official as soon as Monday.

    Fort Myers manager Doug Mientkiewicz has been informed he will not be Gardenhire's successor, though the former first baseman is expected to be promoted to one of the Twins' top two farm clubs. Mientkiewicz became a finalist after leading the Miracle to the Florida State League championship in September.

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