MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Twins have fired homegrown Hall of Famer Paul Molitor as the team's manager following a disappointing 2018 campaign.
The team announced the move just days after seasons end, saying the 62-year-old St. Paul native has been offered another job within the organization. Molitor has told the Twins he will consider the offer.
“I would like to thank Paul for his tremendous dedication to the Minnesota Twins over his last four years as manager of this club,” said Twins Executive Vice President, Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey in a released statement. “Paul’s roots here run deep and his commitment to the organization, his staff, and the players is special. I have every hope and desire that he remains a part of this club for many years to come.”
WATCH LIVE: Minnesota Twins news conference on firing of Paul Molitor. https://kare11.tv/2OofzTBPosted by KARE 11 on Tuesday, October 2, 2018
Falvey says the Twins will immediately begin their search for a new manager, looking both internally and externally. The fate of the current coaching staff will be determined by the new manager in consultation with Executive Vice President, Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey and Senior Vice President, General Manager Thad Levine.
“I was informed today that the Twins will seek a new manager for the 2019 season and I fully respect that decision," Molitor shared in a statement. "I will forever be grateful for the opportunity they gave me to serve in the role as manager for these past four years. I’m going to consider their genuine offer to serve in a different capacity to positively impact the Twins from a different role. Special thanks to my coaches and players I have had a chance to manage and I certainly appreciate the tremendous support I received from all of Twins Territory.”
A person familiar with the decision told USA TODAY Sports that the decision was made despite the fact Molitor was voted American League’s Manager of the Year last season, and the fact he has two years left on his contract at a reported $3.25 million.
The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Twins don’t plan to make the announcement until Tuesday afternoon.
Since playing the final three years of his storied career with the Twins from 1996-1998, Molitor coached with a number of clubs at both the minor and major league levels before being named the 13th manager in Twins history. He led the Twins to a record of 305-343 (.471) in four seasons as manager.
Molitor was voted AL Manager of the Year after the Twins made a Wild Card playoff game in 2017 despite low expectations for the ball club. He signed a three-year extension, but the Twins stumbled with a new look lineup and ended the 2018 season 78-84, second behind Cleveland in a miserable AL Central Division.
A press conference with Twins GM Derek Falvey is tentatively set for 3 p.m. Tuesday.