– The Twins have contacted the Chicago Cubs for permission to speak with executive Jason McLeod about taking over their baseball department. Cubs General Manager Jed Hoyer confirmed the Twins’ interest to Chicago media.

McLeod, 44, is Cubs senior vice president in charge of scouting and player development. His career goes back more than 20 years, with stops with San Diego and Boston. He joined the Cubs in 2011.

It was during McLeod’s watch that the Cubs drafted Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber while building a team that has the best record in baseball.

The Twins remain in their initial phase of their search for someone to lead their baseball department after they fired Terry Ryan on July 18. They plan to hire a director of baseball operations who then will select a GM. Last week, Twins President Dave St. Peter said he hoped the hire would be made by the end of October. A long postseason run by the Cubs could complicate the process, but the Twins could announce the hiring of an executive from a playoff team and allow him or her to finish out the season.

Mauer sitting out

Joe Mauer was out of the lineup again Monday because of a sore quadriceps, and the plan is to hold him out until at least Wednesday. That would give him three days to rest his legs, which have given the Twins first baseman problems for nearly a month.

Mauer hasn’t played since Saturday, when he delivered a walk-off single in the 12th inning against Cleveland.

“Combined with [Sunday] we’ll see if the 72 hours gives him improved health with that leg,” manager Paul Molitor said. “He’s been battling through it and playing. The one thing I think now it’s starting to affect him swinging the bat more than just not being particularly mobile on the bases or defensively.”

Mauer homered Aug. 16 at Atlanta, and revealed then that he was using his legs more in his swing. He was batting .284 at the time and seemed to have a chance to get over .290 and, possibly, return to the .300 level. But in that game, he also scored from first on a Trevor Plouffe double, and he has struggled with his legs ever since. Since the home run, Mauer is batting .179 with one homer.

Both quads have given him problems, but Mauer said Monday that the right leg is bothering him the most.

Molitor said Mauer would not be a candidate for the disabled list if this were earlier in the year.

No announcement yet

Molitor has an idea of what he wants to do with rookie righthander Jose Berrios but will check with GM Rob Antony and his pitching coaches first before making it official.

“I’ll let you know as soon as it is finalized,” Molitor said.

Berrios is 2-6 with a 9.27 ERA in 11 starts, and Molitor wondered after Sunday’s loss to Cleveland if the 22-year-old needed a mental break. It’s not clear who is stretched out enough to start in place of Berrios on Friday against the Mets, which raises the possibility of the Twins using a reliever relay.


• Miguel Sano could miss a couple of days because of a sore lower back after the third baseman aggravated it Monday. He said he woke up with a sore back a few days ago and has tried to play through it, but it began to bother him more when he swung and played defense Monday, so he alerted the trainers after striking out in the sixth.

• Outfielder Byron Buxton thought about playing winter ball during the offseason but has decided to work out on his own instead.

• With Jordan Zimmermann being skipped in the Tigers rotation to work on mechanical issues, former Twins righthander Mike Pelfrey has been tabbed as the starter for Thursday’s series finale.