Twins fans are playing a waiting game as the team searches for a new manager and awaits Joe Mauer’s retirement decision.
Thad Levine, the Twins’ general manager, and Derek Falvey, the team’s chief baseball officer, had a conference call with reporters Tuesday to give updates on offseason issues.
There is not a firm timetable to replace manager Paul Molitor, but there will be interviews in the next week. The only known interview so far has been with the team’s hitting coach, James Rowson. Levine said the team owes fans an “expedient” search.
“We’re looking for someone who is truly open-minded. We’re looking for a leader,” Falvey said. “Someone who will partner with us. Someone who is looking to move this organization forward, not just the 25-man roster.
“We have every expectation, early conversations that we’ve had with internal and external candidates, that we are going to find that person here who’s of high character and a work ethic that we believe a championship-caliber organization puts together. In the short-term here, there are many qualified candidates around baseball no question and I anticipate it will be a difficult decision because of that.”
Falvey and Levine have been in contact with Mauer, who is considering retirement, and said they would welcome Mauer back.
“I think with Joe, he wanted to spend some time with his family,” Falvey said. “Realistically, free agency doesn’t begin for a period of time here. We’re still in the window of playoff baseball. I think some time after that would be appropriate time to have any subsequent dialogue.
“We’ve talked to Joe internally about what this would look like going forward. I think we’ll keep the details private. But we told Joe in that right situation and the right thoughts about the future, and obviously there is a lot that goes into signing somebody, we’ve always told him we’d welcome Joe back, certainly.”
They have also touched base with outfielder Byron Buxton, who was said to be upset when he wasn’t put on the major league roster in September after injuries and ineffectiveness led to him playing at Class AAA Rochester. Buxton will not play winter ball, and instead will focus on a full return to health.
The Twins brass also addressed the weekend auto mishap involving third baseman Miguel Sano, saying they were satisfied it was “an accident.”
• Infielder Ehire Adrianza had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder Tuesday. Adrianza is expected to be ready for spring training in February.