Twins tab Thad Levine as GM and No. 2 in command
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The Minnesota Twins have named Thad Levine as general manager under new chief baseball officer Derek Falvey in their attempt to rebound from a club-worst 59-103 record.
Levine was the assistant general manager of the Texas Rangers for the last 11 seasons. The 44-year-old previously worked for the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers and played baseball at Haverford College in Pennsylvania.
The Twins waited until the conclusion of the World Series to make the announcement about Levine on Thursday, after the Chicago Cubs beat Cleveland in seven games. Falvey was named to succeed Terry Ryan in charge of the baseball operations on Oct. 3, the day after the regular season ended. Falvey, the assistant general manager of the Indians, stayed with the club through the series.
''I couldn't envision a better partner to help return championship-caliber baseball to Minnesota,'' Falvey said in a statement through the Twins. ''Thad's leadership and management experiences across all facets of baseball operations make him the perfect fit for the role, and I'm looking forward to executing our vision together.''
Minnesota's last championship was 25 years ago. The Twins haven't reached the postseason since 2010. They haven't won a game in the playoffs since 2004. The last time they won a postseason series was 2002.
President Dave St. Peter led the search with owner and chief executive officer Jim Pohlad that settled on Falvey and Levine, after firing Ryan on July 18. Assistant general manager Rob Antony, who took over for Ryan on an interim basis, was expected to stay with the organization in 2017. Pohlad has also promised that manager Paul Molitor would return next year.
''I am inspired to work for the Twins franchise,'' Levine said in a statement, ''known as being one of the best organizations in all of professional sports due to the stalwart leadership of the Pohlad family, commitment of its loyal workforce, talent of its players and unflagging loyalty of its fans.''
Falvey and Levine will be introduced at a news conference at Target Field on Monday morning.
''Everyone that has worked with him for the last 11 years is better for it,'' said Rangers president of baseball operations and general manager Jon Daniels, under whom Levine worked. ''He's an enormous part of what we as a team have built here over the years and the successes on and off the field that we've had. He's a uniquely gifted baseball executive and an even better person.''
Before beginning his career in professional baseball in 1999, Levine worked in corporate marketing for Coca-Cola, Rockport and Reebok. With the Rangers, Levine assisted Daniels in all areas of the major league club, including player acquisition, roster composition, contract negotiation, statistical and financial analysis and international scouting. In a conference call with reporters in Texas, Daniels compared Levine to World Series MVP Ben Zobrist, the versatile veteran for the Cubs.
''He can step in and make an impact across the board: business, baseball, scouting, personnel,'' Daniels said. ''He really left a profound impact on everyone that he worked with here.''
AP Sports Writer Stephen Hawkins in Dallas contributed to this report.