5:42pm: Minnesota actually already sat down with Picollo, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press reports. The meeting occurred when the Royals were in town, and took place with the blessing of K.C. GM Dayton Moore.
2:13pm: The Twins intend to interview Royals vice president/assistant general manager J.J. Picollo in their search for a new president of baseball operations, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Picollo has been mentioned in speculation prior to this point, but this appears to be the first definitive link between the two sides. It’s unknown if the Twins have received permission to conduct the interview just yet, but Heyman calls it a “given” that permission will be granted. Indeed, the Royals have given Picollo permission to pursue previous GM openings, most recently with the Phillies — an opening for which he was a reported finalist before Philadelphia’s hiring of Matt Klentak last offseason.
Picollo joined the Royals back in 2006 as the team’s director of player development and has steadily risen through the ranks in the Kansas City organization. He also spent seven years in the Braves’ player development ranks, rising from area scouting supervisor to assistant director of player development to director of minor league operations. General manager Dayton Moore, unsurprisingly, would not comment to Heyman on the possibility of one of his top lieutenants interviewing for the Twins’ vacancy, with Moore instead simply stating that Picollo is a “tremendous leader” and a “big part of our success.” The George Mason University grad, who was drafted three times and had a brief career in the Yankees’ minor league ranks in the early 90s, has long been heralded as a candidate to run his own baseball operations department someday.
Picollo joins Cubs senior vice president of player development Jason McLeod among known candidates for the Twins’ top baseball ops position. Last night, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported that the Twins have already begun conducting interviews and have shown an inclination for an analytically inclined leader, though they’re not ruling out the possibility of hiring someone with a more traditional scouting background. The Twins are also reportedly interested in Cubs assistant GM Shiraz Rehman and Cubs pro scouting director Jared Porter.