MINNEAPOLIS -- As the Twins look to sustain their championship-caliber baseball from the 2019 season and construct a long-term winner, they took the important step of locking down the architects of that success by agreeing to contract extensions with chief baseball officer Derek Falvey and general manager Thad Levine through 2024, a source confirmed on Wednesday. The club has not officially announced either extension.
In line with industry trends, Falvey's title will become president of baseball operations for the 2020 season, though that does not signal a change in his job responsibilities or the nature of his position.
The extensions followed a historically successful season in Minneapolis, during which the Twins won 101 games, the second-highest win total in franchise history, set a single-season Major League record with 307 homers and claimed their first American League Central championship since 2010.
Falvey and Levine were hired from outside the organization within a month of each other following the 2016 season. They led the Twins to the postseason in two of their first three seasons, reaching the American League Wild Card Game in 2017 and the AL Division Series in '19.
After their first two seasons at the helm, Falvey and Levine also hired manager Rocco Baldelli, who on Tuesday was named the 2019 AL Manager of the Year after his philosophies of rest, recovery and communication laid the foundation for the Twins' playoff run in his first season as a professional manager at any level.
Under Falvey and Levine, the Twins have not only embraced the use of data and emphasized player development, but they have also made forward-facing hires on a staff that is able to effectively communicate those ideas to the players and contribute to the thought processes. This includes pitching coach Wes Johnson, who was hired directly out of the collegiate ranks, assistant pitching coach Jeremy Hefner, who was previously an advance scout, and catching coordinator Tanner Swanson, who brought new pitch receiving ideas to Twins catchers before he was hired by the Yankees as their Major League catching coach this offseason.
The Twins have also moved to lock down some of their most valuable players in the long term. They signed outfielder Max Kepler and shortstop Jorge Polanco to extensions during Spring Training that will keep the pair in Minnesota through at least 2023. Kepler responded with 36 homers in a true breakout season, while Polanco was the AL's starting shortstop in the All-Star Game.
Falvey previously spent nine years in the Indians organization, serving as assistant general manager after spending time as the director of baseball operations. The Red Sox reportedly had interest in Falvey this offseason for the president of baseball operations position that went to Chaim Bloom. Levine was previously the assistant general manager of the Rangers for 11 seasons.