Twins manager Rocco Baldelli was originally signed to a four-year deal that ran from 2019 to 2022 with multiple club options. It was reported in September of last year that he would be retained for 2023 but it wasn’t clear if the club had simply picked up an option or worked out a new contract. Now Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Twins picked up those options prior to last season and gave Baldelli an extension that goes through at least 2025.
It’s unknown exactly how long the new contract is, but it’s notable it goes for at least two more seasons beyond the current campaign. That means there’s no immediate concern about a “lame duck” situation and it also shows the organization has plenty of faith in the work Baldelli has done.
Baldelli’s tenure has seen the club post inconsistent results. His first two seasons each resulted in the Twins topping the American League Central, going 101-61 in 2019 and then 36-24 in the shortened 2020 season. However, that was followed up by a disappointing 73-89 showing in 2021. Despite that rough campaign, the club’s decision makers evidently felt good enough about having Baldelli at the helm to quietly work out a new deal to keep him around longer.
Last year, they were leading the division for most of the season but stumbled down the stretch as various injuries mounted, eventually leading to a 78-84 record and a third-place finish. Through the early going here in 2023, they are on the upswing again, though thanks in large part to their weak division. They’re the only club in the Central with a winning record, currently at 25-22. That’s enough for a lead of 3.5 games over the second-place Tigers, even though the Twins have the same record as the Blue Jays, who are in the basement of the AL East.
The club is clearly in win-now mode, having given out huge contracts to players like Carlos Correa and Byron Buxton in recent years, as well as trading for high-profile players like Sonny Gray and Pablo López. More disappointing results would increase the temperature under Baldelli’s seat but it seems that he’s currently quite comfortable in the dugout in Minnesota.