Though the Twins have offered recently dismissed manager Paul Molitor a new position with a “likely” focus on player development (per The Athletic’s Dan Hayes), USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets that Molitor’s preference is to continue coaching or managing at the big league level. The 62-year-old isn’t likely to accept the new role within the Twins organization, per Nightengale, who notes that Molitor is still owed a total of $3.2MM through 2020 as part of last October’s contract extension. There are several other managerial openings around the league — Orioles, Angels, Blue Jays, Reds — for which Molitor could potentially emerge as a candidate if he does indeed rebuff the Twins’ latest offer. He also has experience as a big league hitting coach, and both the D-backs and Pirates have announced they’ll be looking for a new voice in that role.
More from the AL Central…
- The decision to move on from Molitor caught Twins cornerstone Joe Mauer by surprise, writes La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Mauer, like Molitor, is a St. Paul native (the two even attended the same high school — St. Paul’s Cretin-Derham Hall) and spoke about his relationship with the Hall of Famer, who had spent four seasons as the manager in Minnesota. Mauer is mulling retirement after an emotional sendoff from his hometown organization — the only team he’s ever known — and said that Molitor’s dismissal will factor into the calculus. “There are many factors that will go into my decision going forward, and Paul’s absence as our manager is another thing I will be adding to my list of things to consider,” said Mauer. “He’s been an incredible leader and role model and will be greatly missed by all who have played under him.”
- Jose Iglesias bid farewell to the Tigers organization on Instagram today, and Evan Woodbery of MLive.com writes that it’s become increasingly apparent that the Tigers aren’t likely to pursue a reunion. Manager Ron Gardenhire bluntly indicated that the team is “looking for cheaper and inexpensive” as it looks to fill its middle infield voids. A return for Iglesias certainly doesn’t seem impossible — Woodbery notes that trade interest in him has been nonexistent over the past two seasons, which doesn’t bode well for free agency — but it doesn’t sound as if he’ll be an immediate priority for the club. Woodbery adds that Dixon Machado isn’t likely to be in the team’s plans, either; he elected free agency yesterday after being removed from the Tigers’ 40-man roster several months ago.
- The Indians’ final roster spot for the American League Division Series will go to Rajai Davis, manager Terry Francona told reporters today (link via MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian). The decision came down to the veteran Davis versus infielder Erik Gonzalez, but Francona indicated that the potential to utilize Davis as a late-inning baserunning threat ultimately outweighed the desire to have a true backup option at shortstop. The 37-year-old Davis didn’t hit much this season — .224/.278/.281 in 216 plate appearances — but he still managed to swipe 21 bases in a very limited role.