3:48pm: In addition to the extension, Falvey’s title has been updated to president of baseball operations, Hayes tweets. Falvey was already the top decision-maker in the organization, but the nomenclature of his previous title, “chief baseball officer,” was rather atypical. This more closely aligns with industry norms and marks a clearer definition of his status both within the Twins organization and in relation to other executives throughout the league.
2:08pm: The Twins have agreed to contract extensions with the top two members of their baseball operations department, Dan Hayes of The Athletic reports (via Twitter). Chief baseball officer Derek Falvey and general manager Thad Levine are set to sign new deals that’ll keep them in the organization through the 2024 season. Both were already under contract through 2021. The news comes less than a week after the organization announced another series of front office promotions.
It’s now been three years since Falvey was brought in to take over Minnesota’s baseball operations department and quickly hired Levine to serve as his top lieutenant. The Twins’ new-look front office duo made some small-scale changes in the 2016-17 offseason, and the 2017 Twins exceeded expectations with a surprise Wild Card berth. The 2018 campaign was a disaster that led to an overhaul of the coaching staff and a series of new additions on one- and two-year deals in the 2018-19 offseason.
The Twins, under Falvey and Levine, hired eventual Manager of the Year Rocco Baldelli to replace Paul Molitor last winter before signing Nelson Cruz, Marwin Gonzalez and Jonathan Schoop, claiming C.J. Cron off waivers and extending potential cornerstones Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco. Short-term deals for Martin Perez and Blake Parker proved less fruitful, but the majority of Minnesota’s moves paid off in spades as the Twins spent the bulk of the season in first place and ultimately won the American League Central by a margin of eight games.
The 2019-20 offseason will now bring increased pressure for the team to make impactful additions with an eye toward finally breaking through a near-unthinkable run of postseason futility over the past 15 years. Pitching will be of particular importance, as Jose Berrios is the only rotation member who is under team control; Jake Odorizzi, Michael Pineda, Kyle Gibson and the aforementioned Perez are all free agents. Minnesota’s front office duo spoke last winter of being aggressive once it becomes clear that the team’s window is open, and they’ve already stated that they intend to pursue “impact” pitching this offseason. With extremely minimal payroll commitments on the books in 2020 and 2021 and a fairly modest arbitration class, the Twins are currently more than $50MM south of their club-record payroll (set in 2018), so they certainly have the resources to make good on those intentions.