While the Minnesota Twins season might be over, the work is only just beginning to ensure the team continues to take steps in the right direction next year.
The Twins won the AL Central for the ninth time in franchise history, and ended a handful of miserable postseason losing streaks. Not only did Minnesota end its 18-game postseason losing streak, but it managed to win its first playoff series since 2002.
Plenty of demons were exorcised this October, and it's given the team the feeling of having a clean slate moving forward. It's a new era for Twins baseball and the changes that get made this winter will be critical to how much the team can build on the hope and success that happed this year.
One of the biggest changes might come to the front office, where the duo of Thad Levine and Derek Falvey might be nearing a breakup.
Red Sox granted permission to interview Thad Levine for GM role
Earlier this season the Boston Red Sox made the surprising move to fire general manager Chaim Bloom. Yet another Red Sox GM who inherited an almost impossible mess seems to have been scapegoated, and the move vacated one of the biggest jobs in the league.
WEEI host and Red Sox writer Rob Bradford reported on Monday that Thad Levine might be the one who ends up filling that role.
"According to multiple sources, another candidate that has elicited mutual interest is current Twins general manager Thad Levine," Bradford reported.
Darren Wolfson later confirmed the report, saying that the Twins had granted Boston permission to speak with Levine.
Levine has been with the Twins since 2016 and has been in charge of two division-winning teams. He's been a controversial figure for fans in Minnesota who have wondered whether or not he's meddled too much with Rocco Baldelli and the way the team is managed, but he has more than a few feathers in his cap that intrigue Boston.
Most notably, Levine drafted Royce Lewis as part of his first draft class in 2017, a move that has seemingly given the Twins the next face of the franchise. He also pulled off a gusty trade to acquire Pablo Lopez back in January by dealing Luis Arraez. It was a deal that, at the time, seemed like a massive gamble but has since paid off immensely.
Arraez continued to be one of the best hitters in baseball, but Lopez has turned into the ace Minnesota has been searching for but was unable to find. Levine also worked out team-friendly contracts with superstars like Byron Buxton and Carlos Correa, while drafting other core pieces like Edouard Julien, Matt Wallner, and Brooks Lee.
Levine didn't operate alone, as he's been partnered with Derek Falvey throughout his entire tenure in Minnesota. If he leaves for Boston, we're going to learn who was pulling a majority of the strings and just how much of the front office success was a team effort.
It's worth noting that the recent surge in interest surrounding the Red Sox job has nothing to do with Levine or what the Twins did. Miami fumbling the bag and forcing out Kim Ng has ignited rumors that she will take the top job in Boston, so Levine might not end up going anywhere despite being granted an interview.