The former outfielder reportedly interviewed with four other teams for a managerial position, choosing the Twins officially on Thursday morning. The former Tampa Bay Rays player is also the first manager in the majors that was born in the 1980s. He is replacing Molitor, who was fired after four seasons and compiled a record of 305-343. The Twins officially introduced their new manager at Target Field on Thursday, which the team took to social media to say "Day 1 #MNTwins," with pictures of Baldelli and the front office meeting together.
The new manager has spent the past four seasons on the Rays' coaching staff underneath manager Kevin Cash, with the most recent season being a newly created position called a major league field coordinator. He basically helped with in-game strategy and also worked with oufielders, while also focusing on the development of young players. Before that, he spent three seasons as a first base coach with the team.
The Twins ended this past season at 78-84, which was good for second place in the sub-par AL Central Division, just one season after reaching the American League Wild Card Game. They were expected to put more pressure on the Cleveland Indians in the division race, but the struggles of young stars such as Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano held them back. They are hoping that a younger manager who has been focusing on younger players can help get this' Twins' rebuild back on the right track.