The Twins and Derek Falvey “could soon complete a new deal” to retain the executive VP/chief baseball officer beyond the end of his current contract, ESPN’s Buster Olney reports. The specific terms of Falvey’s original deal weren’t released when he was hired by Minnesota after the 2016 season, though it was believed that he was signed through at least 2020.
Still only 36 years old, Falvey has enjoyed quite a bit of success since taking over the Twins’ baseball operations department. Brought in to provide fresh perspective within an organization that had perhaps become too insular and old-fashioned, Falvey and GM Thad Levine have managed to both modernize the Twins’ front office while also leading the club to the playoffs twice in three seasons. Minnesota won a wild card slot in 2017 and then captured the AL Central this year with 101 victories, the second-highest win total in the 119-year history of the Twins/Washington Senators franchise. The only downside is an 0-4 record in the postseason, losing all four games to the Yankees (who have dominated the Twins for the better part of two decades).
Perhaps most importantly, Minnesota is well-positioned to remain in contention going forward. Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler were signed to long-term extensions in the spring, and Falvey and Levine focused on acquiring only short-term assets last winter, several of whom (most notably Nelson Cruz) ended up being big contributors to Minnesota’s division title. This leaves the Twins in position to spend more significantly this offseason, and Falvey said yesterday that “impact pitching” will be targeted to help a rotation that could be thinned out in free agency.
It isn’t surprising that the Twins would look to keep Falvey in the fold given his already-strong track record with the team, though Olney notes that the timing could also be related to the Red Sox, who currently the only team looking to fill a general manager vacancy. Falvey is from Massachusetts, though as of last month, was reportedly “very happy” in Minnesota and seemingly not looking to take on another position elsewhere.
If a new contract for Falvey could be coming soon, it stands to reason that Levine might also be in line for an extension in short order. Levine has been on the radar for other teams looking to make front office hires, though he turned down a request from the Mets to interview for their open GM position last year.