UPDATE (Nov. 3): Minnesota officially announced the hiring of Levine as their executive vice president/general manager on Nov. 3.
OFFICIAL: #MNTwins name Thad Levine Senior Vice President and General Manager. Infographic: https://t.co/3VdwtS2hkc pic.twitter.com/cYkE0MpISh— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) November 3, 2016
ORIGINAL: The Minnesota Twins may have finally found their new General Manager, according to La Velle E. Neal of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Taking over Terry Ryan’s old job, and working under new Chief Baseball Operator Derek Falvey, will be longtime Texas Rangers Assistant GM Thad Levine. The news has been confirmed by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News:
Hearing that report from @LaVelleNeal is dead-on accurate. Rangers expected to lose Thad Levine, who will become Twins GM. Report coming.— Evan Grant (@Evan_P_Grant) October 26, 2016
Levine played college ball and has an MBA from UCLA. He came up through the Dodgers’ business development department. After some time with the Rockies, he has been with the Rangers since 2005, handling contract negotiations and analysis under Jon Daniels. Levine has long been considered a strong GM candidate, and has interviewed for several open positions over the last few seasons. He brings with him a stats-heavy background that has been missing from the club.
The loss of Levine will be a big blow for the Rangers organization, especially coupled with the loss of A.J. Preller two years ago. After building a strong front office and an exceptional team on the field, Daniels will be looking for a new right hand.
Because Falvey’s start with the Twins is on hold until after the World Series, and because Major League Baseball prefers for clubs not to announce big moves during its signature event, Levine’s hiring is not official. However, with both Falvey and Levine in place quickly, the rest of the new Twins regime could start to fall into place quickly, with Falvey pulling at least one other person over from the Indians with him.
Interestingly, Neal reports that Levine was actually the Twins’ second choice. Red Sox executive Amiel Sawdaye was offered the job, but was lured away by the Diamondbacks, who made him their new senior vice president. Nevertheless, the Twins managed to come away from this GM search with two of the top young executives in baseball, which should prove to be the club’s best offseason acquisitions in nearly a decade.