The Minnesota Twins appear to be closing in on a decision of whom will replace Ron Gardenhire as the new team manager.
La Velle Neal III of the Star Tribune writes that "all signs point to the club making its decision sometime this week on a new manager."
The key ingredient to his speculation is the involvement of team owner Jim Pohlad, who took part in a second interview with managerial candidate Torey Lovullo on Monday. Lovullo is currently the bench coach for the Boston Red Sox. Neal adds that it's likely Pohlad has already met with Paul Molitor and Doug Mientkiewicz, too.
Molitor, Lovullo and Mientkiewicz are the only known candidates believed to have interviewed twice for the job.
1500 ESPN's Derek Wetmore reports that the job is "believed" to be down to Molitor or Lovullo, and a decision could be announced as soon as the middle of this week. Molitor has been the favored candidate to lead the Twins because he's already on the coaching staff and he's a hometown hero. The Twins have a history of promoting talent within the organization rather than hiring from the outside.
But Lovullo's name hasn't been dismissed, and on Monday, the Pioneer Press received a glowing review of Lovullo from longtime Red Sox consultant Dick Berardino.
"I like him a lot," Berardino said in a phone interview. "Personality-wise, he handles himself well with players. He's well respected. He's done just about everything in this game. I think he's ready to manage in the big leagues. His time has come."
Berardino described Lovullo as a no-nonsense, nice guy manager who specializes in the developing age of baseball analytics.
Joe Maddon, who opted out of his contract with the Tampa Bay Rays, isn't considered a realistic candidate for the job.
An announcement from the Twins should not be expected Tuesday. Game 6 of the World Series between the Royals and Giants is scheduled for Tuesday night, and the league frowns upon teams taking the spotlight off the Fall Classic.
If the series reaches a seventh game, it will be played Wednesday in Kansas City.