Twins' decision on manager likely coming within week

Molitor, Lovullo considered frontrunners; Mientkiewicz also in the mix

Twins' decision on manager likely coming within week

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins are getting closer to naming their new manager, as an announcement could come as soon as this week or early next week.

Twins general manager Terry Ryan has reportedly held two rounds of interviews with Paul Molitor, Torey Lovullo and Doug Mientkiewicz in his search to find a replacement for Ron Gardenhire, who was dismissed on Sept. 29. Molitor remains the top managerial candidate from within the organization, while Lovullo, the Red Sox's bench coach, has emerged as the top candidate from outside the organization.

The Twins have been taking their time, as the search has taken nearly a month, and the club will wait until after the World Series ends before making an announcement on the new manager.

Molitor, 58, has been viewed as a favorite from the start based on the St. Paul native's background with the organization and his highly regarded baseball IQ. Molitor spent last season as a coach for the Twins and also worked with many of the club's top prospects such as Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano during his time as the organization's Minor League baserunning and infield coordinator.

Lovullo, 49, has no ties to the Twins and spent the last two seasons as bench coach for the Red Sox after serving as first-base coach for the Blue Jays from 2011-12. He also has experience managing in the Minors, as he managed in Cleveland's organization from 2002-09, leading his clubs to the postseason four times. He's also interviewed with the Dodgers, Mariners, Red Sox, Rangers and Astros.

Mientkiewicz, 40, is familiar with the Twins, playing the first seven years of his career in Minnesota from 1998-2004 before rejoining the organization as manager of Class A Advanced Fort Myers in 2013. He remains in the mix, but Molitor and Lovullo are considered the frontrunners for the position.

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.