Molitor talking to Twins about new contract

Twins' skipper guided club to a franchise-record 26-win improvement

Molitor talking to Twins about new contract

MINNEAPOLIS -- After leading the Twins to a surprise run to the 2017 AL Wild Card Game after losing 103 games last season, manager Paul Molitor is negotiating a new contract, but nothing has been finalized.

Molitor, whose three-year contract expired after the season, met with chief baseball officer Derek Falvey and general manager Thad Levine on Wednesday and Thursday. The Twins, though, have not made an official announcement on his status, as nothing has been agreed to yet. Media availability with Falvey is likely to be held Friday.

Molitor, a candidate for the AL 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 loss to the Yankees on Tuesday. Molitor helped keep spirits high after the Twins were sellers at the 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 AL Manager of the Year in 2015, including receiving two first-place votes, after leading the Twins to an 83-win season that had them in 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. He 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.