For the past four years, Baldelli has coached for the Tampa Bay Rays, where he played six of his seven seasons as an Major League Baseball outfielder. At 37 years old Baldelli will now be the youngest manager in the big leagues, so that alone should help along with the general idea he worked in a player development capacity for the Rays.
The Twins fired manager Paul Molitor last month and offered him a new role with the team.
Twins pitcher Jake Odorizzi, who was acquired from the Rays, made an unsolicited endorsement of Baldelli to Falvey after his candidacy was reported.
The Twins finished in second place in the American League Central with a record of 78-84 this season.
The 25-year-old Sano also had a career-worst season in 2018 after making the All-Star team the year before. He also spent one season with the Boston Red Sox. He joined the Padres after spending three seasons as the Dodgers' hitting coach. Injuries hounded him for most of his career, however, and a rare disorder that caused muscle fatigue ultimately forced him to retire after the 2010 season.
Baldelli will be the youngest active manager in the majors.
Baldelli will come to the Twins from one of the most progressive organizations in baseball. Baldelli has been the field coordinator for the Tampa Bay Rays since November 2017.