The Minnesota Twins began the offseason by dismissing manager Paul Molitor. The move came as a surprise, in part because Molitor was less than a year removed from winning the Manager of the Year Award. Nonetheless, the Twins desired someone new on the bench. They have since settled on their next skipper, with the team announcing Rocco Baldelli as the 14th manager in franchise history on Thursday.
Baldelli, 37, is the youngest manager in the Majors. He had previously served in a variety of roles with the Tampa Bay Rays, including first-base coach and field coordinator. He's well-regarded by most accounts, and his time in St. Petersburg exposed him to progressive strategies that he could carry with him to the Twins.
Of course, Baldelli also played in parts of seven big-league seasons, mostly with the Rays, amassing 10 career Wins Above Replacement before his body forced him into retirement.
It's worth noting this will be the first time the Twins have hired a manager from outside the organization in more than three decades. Ray Miller, who oversaw the club for parts of two seasons in 1985-86, was the most recent external addition. The Twins certainly hope the Baldelli era proves to be more fruitful.