Rays Rocco Baldelli appears headed to Twins as manager

Rocco Baldelli

Sources tell Fox 9 the Twins will hire Rocco Baldelli as their new manager on Thursday at a press conference at Target Field. But such is the current trend in Major League Baseball of bringing in fresh faces at the managing level, just as the Red Sox did with Alex Cora and the New York Yankees did with Aaron Boone. It's also the first managerial assignment for Baldelli.

Baldelli, a Rhode Island native, played seven seasons in the Major League Baseball for Tampa Bay and Boston.

Baldelli would replace Paul Molitor, last year's Manager of the Year, who was dismissed after the Twins finished with a 78-84 record, coming in 13 games behind the Cleveland Indians.

The Twins also considered their own bench coach Derek Shelton and Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde for the position.

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Baldelli's name had been linked to several of the manager openings around the league.

Baldelli will be the 14th manager for the Twins since the franchise relocated from Washington in 1961, only their fourth manager since 36-year-old Tom Kelly took over in 1986 and their first manager hired outside the organization since Ray Miller in 1985. But the front office let Molitor go and started looking for a manager they felt would build closer relationships with, and nurture, talented young players such as Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano, top prospects whose careers became grounded last season.

"The people there have prepared me to do anything, and I feel like that", Baldelli said. The Tampa Bay Times reported that he'd interviewed for all 5 teams actively seeking a manager. Before that, he was their third-base coach for three years.

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