The top two internal candidates for the Minnesota Twins managerial job are Paul Molitor and Doug Mientkiewicz, according to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com. Minnesota has only interviewed the two former Twins-turned-coaches: Molitor an assistant for the big league club, and Mientkiewicz the manager at High-A Fort Myers.
While GM Terry Ryan would prefer an internal candidate, indications are he's willing to wait and at least interview outside candidates before making a decision.
"My preference is to get the best guy," Ryan told MLB.com's Bollinger. "It'd be nice to get a guy that's inside, because he'd know the inner workings of this organization, and the market, and the ballpark and the personnel. That would be great, but sometimes, it's not meant to be."
The best guy could be in their own organization. Or he could be on somebody else's bench: Minnesota has received permission to interview Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported on Twitter; the club has also been granted permission to talk with A's bench coach Chip Hale, according to this tweet from 1500 ESPN's Darren Wolfson. Additionally, Buck Showalter expects his bench coach John Russell to be interviewed after the Orioles' postseason run.
Bollinger also links the Twins to Cardinals third base coach Jose Oquendo, Rays bench coach Dave Martinez, and White Sox third base coach Dave McEwing.
Which leads us back to Molitor and Mientkiewicz. The two are both well-regarded leaders, if inexperienced coaches. Molitor is a well-respected Hall of Famer, and Mientkiewicz a passionate leader on a successful run of Twins teams in the early 2000s.
The two internal candidates also have a feel for the organization, and a familiarity with the next generation of hyped players in the Minnesota system. Both Molitor and Mientkiewicz have coached the Twins' crew of emerging prospects, including Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano, and Kennys Vargas.
There is currently no timeline for when a decision will be made.