If Paul Molitor isn't extended, who should manage the Twins?

Here are three candidates to consider if Molitor doesn't come back.
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Last week, it was reported the Twins made an offer to extend manager Paul Molitor, who is not under contract for 2018 or beyond.

Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press reported Sunday that the contract talks have moved in a "positive direction."

However, the two sides have yet to come to an agreement. So could the Twins actually go in another direction? 

It seems unlikely given this year's turnaround, but on the off chance he isn't brought back, here are a few candidates the team could consider.

Mickey Callaway

MLB insider Jon Heyman noted last Friday that Cleveland Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway is emerging as a managerial candidate – and the Twins may be interested.

Callaway has a connection to the Twins, as Minnesota's President of Baseball Operations Derek Falvey spent nine years in Cleveland's front office.

"The Twins, with the connection there, could be Callaway’s best shot," Heyman notes. 

The Philadelphia Phillies could also be a landing spot, but with Falvey and Callaway having a history with one another, the Twins could make for an easier transition.

James Rowson

Rowson just wrapped up his first season as the Twins' hitting coach. He played a part in young players like Byron Buxton and Eddie Rosario having breakout seasons.

After the Twins fell in the Wild Card Game to the Yankees, Brian Dozier said he hoped Molitor would return, adding: "100 percent, I speak for everybody else in here, we hope he’s back.” 

If the front office wants to go in a different direction, it's probably going to be a tough pill to swallow for some in the clubhouse.

Although Rowson might not be the first choice, keeping someone who's familiar with the clubhouse might be an ideal move.

Joe Girardi

OK, I'm swinging for the fences here and before you write me off for sipping too much Kool-Aid, hear me out. Because there's a chance he's available soon.

New York fans booed Girardi's name during pregame introductions before the Yankees and Indians took the field for Game 3 of the ALDS.

The boo-birds were related to Girardi not challenging a questionable call in Game 2. The Yankees pulled out the win on Sunday, but their season is on the line being down 2-1 in the series.

Girardi is not under contact for next season. He's been the manager for New York for the last 10 years, where he helped the Yankees to a World Series ring in 2009.

However, they have have not won a playoff series since 2012, and that's a tough market to be in with limited playoff success. If New York is stupid enough to let Girardi go, and the Twins still haven't reached a contract agreement with Molitor at that point, Minnesota management should pick up the phone and reach out to Girardi immediately.

No matter where he's managed, Girardi has produced impressive results – including in Miami in 2006, when he turned a team with a $13 million payroll into a .500 club.

Plus, the Twins will probably see the Yankees again in the playoffs sometime. What better guy to have managing your team than the skipper who has bested you five times in the postseason?

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