Just in time for Major League Baseball’s general managers meetings, the Minnesota Twins officially have their two biggest pieces in place.
Chief baseball officer Derek Falvey and general manager Thad Levine are taking off to Arizona for the all-important annual offseason gathering, but not before being introduced to Twins fans and media Monday.
"This is an exciting day for the Minnesota Twins’ organization," president Dave St. Peter said. "I think it represents a dawn of a new era of the franchise. I think it represents a significant step forward in restoring our winning tradition."
Both Falvey and Levine have World Series experience in their previous organizations (Cleveland and Texas, respectively) and said their goal is to build a championship-caliber organization in the Twin Cities.
"The goal here is straightforward and measurable," Falvey said. "It’s to build a sustainable, championship-caliber team, an organization that fans across Twins territory will be proud of. Thad and I know there are no shortcuts to getting there. We intend to relentlessly identify, pursue and advance top-performing people cultivate a world-class process, and build a culture that’s collaborative and transparent to achieve our goals."
Under these two, known for their analytical slant, the Twins will be building up their operation to match competitors. Falvey stressed "collaboration" throughout the 50-minute introductory press conference, while Levine emphasized the word "marriage." Both said all data — not just numbers and calculations, but also medical information, the "eye test" and more – will provide the grounds to make sound on-field decisions.
"We want to be evidence-based in our approach to decisions," Falvey said. "Evidence doesn’t always just come from numbers or metrics, it comes from trying as best we can to quantify and dig deep into the quality of the information and the inputs to make a decision."
Current players, and Minnesota natives Glen Perkins and Joe Mauer were in attendance, as was manager Paul Molitor. Molitor said he’s has encouraging conversations with Falvey about their new relationship and said of the front office hires: "it reinvigorates you." No, Falvey will not be filling out the lineup card day-in and day-out, but said he expects both to be "open-minded" and work together to improve the on-field product.
They’ll have to hit the ground running. The GM meetings run through Nov. 10 and free agency begins Nov. 8.