– More candidates are emerging as the Twins continue their search for someone to lead their front office.

According to sources, the Twins will interview Tampa Bay Rays executive Chaim Bloom and they are interested in Mets executive John Ricco.

They join a group of known candidates that includes Jason McLeod, the Cubs senior vice president of scouting and player development; J.J. Picollo, the Royals’ vice president and assistant GM; and Derek Falvey, the Indians’ assistant GM.

And, according to sources, the Twins last week officially interviewed current interim GM Rob Antony for the position.

Bloom, a Yale graduate, joined the Rays as an intern in 2005, after serving internships with Major League Baseball and the Padres. He is in his second season as vice president of baseball operations, which comes after spending three years as director. He has interviewed for GM jobs in Philadelphia and Milwaukee.

Ricco is the vice president and assistant general manager for the Mets. He joined the organization in 2004 after 12 years with the commissioner’s office. On the surface, Ricco appears to be positioned to replace GM Sandy Alderson one day.

The Twins have yet to approach the Mets for permission to speak with Ricco but are expected to do so.

Both Bloom and Ricco are considered strong in statistical analysis, an area the Twins are interested in enhancing.

Now that the Cubs have clinched the NL Central title, the Twins are expected to schedule an interview with McLeod.

There’s a chance that other candidates have been interviewed, or will be. Twins president Dave St. Peter has said that the club has cast a wide net in its efforts to land a new leader for their baseball department.

The Twins could announce a hire as soon as the end of the regular season. Even if that person is with a team that’s in the postseason, an announcement could be made with a start date pushed back to after the postseason. That person then would begin a search for a general manager.

Back-to-back for Mauer

Joe Mauer was back in the lineup for a second straight game after coming out of Thursday’s game with no problems. Mauer had missed four games because of a sore right quad. He returned to the lineup on Thursday in Detroit as the designated hitter, but no one was sure that he would be able to play first base on Saturday.

But Mauer got the park early to get his legs ready for acton.

“The positive is that he felt a lot better using his legs in his swing,” manager Paul Molitor said. “He didn’t have any setbacks in terms of how the game unfolded.”

Sano examined

Third baseman Miguel Sano, who left Monday’s game because of a sore lower right back and hasn’t played since, was at Target Field on Friday for treatment and an examination by team doctors.

It’s unclear if the club scheduled a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam or not.

The Twins would like to see Sano back in the lineup before the season ends, but they are not going to push it if his back continues to give him problems.


• Mets righthander Jacob deGrom, who has not pitched since Sept. 1 because of a forearm strain, has been announced as the starter for Sunday’s game.

Brian Dozier got an infield single in the third inning Friday to extend his career-best hitting streak to 20 games.