Gardenhire declines position in Twins' organization

GM Ryan says former manager taking year off

Gardenhire declines position in Twins' organization

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was offered a position within in the organization this offseason, but declined it and will take the year off, Twins general manager Terry Ryan said Sunday.

Gardenhire, who lives near the club's Spring Training complex in Fort Myers, has been in contact with Ryan, but indicated he's looking into finding another job as a manager down the road and wants to take time off this year. Gardenhire served as Minnesota's manager from 2002-14, going 1,068-1,039 with six division titles in his 13 years at the helm.

"He's doing fine, but he's not going to be participating with us," Ryan said. "I talk to him often. He's doing pretty good, but he wants to take a year off."

Ryan added that Gardenhire has indicated that he's not done managing and is open to finding a managerial position with another organization.

"There will be a day he ultimately wants to get back," Ryan said. "Whether it's sooner or it's later, it depends on opportunities. There will be a time this year where somebody will lose their job and there will be an opening, and I'm sure he'll be in the forefront."

Ryan wouldn't specify what Gardenhire's title would've been, but said he would've given Gardenhire free rein to find a niche within in the organization.

"He's a good resource for me," Ryan said. "All those things he's good at, I don't have that experience being in the dugout. So for instance, mentoring a Minor League manager or visiting a Minor League affiliate. Those things he'd be very helpful with.

"And he's also a very good evaluator. So if I had to ask him if a guy was ready to be put on the roster, he'd be able to tell me that. If he wanted to do something, I'm in. If he wanted to talk to the Minor League players, talk to the affiliates, teach infield or help a guy with his hitting, he can do a lot of things. He has a quite the resume."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.