Twins chairman Jim Pohlad stepped aside as the franchise’s executive chair yesterday, turning day-to-day ownership responsibilities over to his nephew Joe Pohlad (relayed by Aaron Gleeman of the Athletic). President of baseball operations Derek Falvey and president Dave St. Peter will report to Joe Pohlad moving forward.
It’s not a complete ownership overhaul, as Jim Pohlad will remain the Twins’ official control person and continue to work with Major League Baseball, writes Jim Souhan of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. However, it does mark a notable step for the organization, as 40-year-old Joe Pohlad will take on a significantly more meaningful role. Jim Pohlad, who’s now 69 years old, has held the lead role since the passing of his father Carl in 2009. The Twins have been owned by the family for nearly four decades. Carl Pohlad purchased the organization from Calvin Griffith back in 1984.
Joe Pohlad, a graduate of Stonehill College, has worked for the Twins since 2007. He had held the title of executive vice president of brand strategy/growth for the past four years. Souhan notes he’s gotten some experience in baseball operations in addition to his work in the marketing department, presumably in preparation for eventually assuming control of the franchise.
In an interview with Souhan published at the Star-Tribune, Joe Pohlad downplayed the potential for any major changes relative to his uncle’s leadership. He expressed his support for the front office duo of Falvey and general manager Thad Levine, as well as for manager Rocco Baldelli. “It’s not like how we’re going to operate as a business is going to change on Day 1 because I’m in this chair,” Pohlad told Souhan. “To this point, we are having all of the same conversations. Dave, Derek and I are operating in the same way. I am certainly not one to all of a sudden blow things up because I’m the guy in this seat.”
While there may not be any immediate overhauls in the franchise’s daily operation, any ownership change is certain to lead to questions among the fanbase about the payroll outlook. Minnesota opened the 2022 season with a team-record player payroll just above $134MM, in the estimation of Cot’s Baseball Contracts. That ranked 18th in the majors, and they’ve opened each of the past 10 seasons with a payroll that sat between 16th and 21st among the game’s 30 clubs.
Predictably, Joe Pohlad didn’t delve into specifics about the franchise’s long-term payroll…