Twins give Molitor three-year deal as manager

Twins give Molitor three-year deal as manager

MINNEAPOLIS -- After leading the Twins to a surprise run to the 2017 AL Wild Card Game one season after losing 103 games, Paul Molitor signed a three-year contract to remain Minnesota's manager through the 2020 season, the club announced Monday.

Molitor, whose three-year contract expired after the season, had been negotiating with chief baseball officer Derek Falvey and general manager Thad Levine since Wednesday. Falvey and Molitor will meet with the media on Tuesday. There still could be changes to the coaching staff.

Molitor, a candidate for the American League Manager of the Year Award, guided the Twins to a franchise-record 26-win improvement from last season, becoming the first team to go from losing more than 100 games to the postseason the following season. They were also the second club to have the No. 1 overall pick and make the playoffs in the same year, joining the 2008 Rays.

The 61-year-old Hall of Famer is also popular in the clubhouse, as Twins players view him as a stoic leader and endorsed him after their AL Wild Card Game loss to the Yankees on Tuesday. Molitor helped keep spirits high after the Twins were sellers at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, but bounced back to go 20-10 in August and take control of the second AL Wild Card spot.

"I, 100 percent -- and I speak for everyone in here -- I want him back," second baseman Brian Dozier said.

Molitor finished third in the balloting for the AL Manager of the Year Award in 2015, including receiving two first-place votes, after leading the Twins to an 83-win season that had them in AL Wild Card contention until the second-to-the-last day of the season. But the '16 season saw the Twins start 0-9 en route to a Major League-worst 59-103 record. Molitor's career record is 227-259.

As a player, the St. Paul native hit .306/.369/.448 with 3,319 hits in a 20-year career with the Brewers, Blue Jays and Twins. Molitor was a seven-time All-Star and won the 1993 World Series MVP Award with the Blue Jays.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.