For the first time since 2014, the Rockies are in the market for a new general manager. Jeff Bridich spent the past six-plus years as the Rockies’ GM, but he and the team went their separate ways Monday. Colorado will appoint an interim GM for the rest of the 2021 campaign – likely scouting director Bill Schmidt or assistant GM Zack Rosenthal, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports – and then hire a permanent replacement for Bridich after the season.
Although Bridich has only been out of a job for a few hours, a potential successor from outside the organization has already emerged. Twins GM Thad Levine is “[t]he leading candidate” for the opening in Colorado, Nightengale writes. There’s familiarity between the Rockies and the 49-year-old Levine, who worked in their front office in various roles – including senior director of baseball operations – from 1999-2005. He then left to become the Rangers’ assistant GM, but not before earning the respect of Rockies owner Dick Monfort, according to Nightengale.
Along with president of baseball operations Derek Falvey, Levine has helped lead a turnaround in Minnesota since his hiring after the 2016 season. The Twins, then coming off a 59-win season, have gone to the playoffs three times and won two American League Central titles during the Falvey-Levine reign. As a result of the positive on-field results, Levine has garnered interest from other organizations during his time with the Twins. The Mets wanted to interview Levine for their GM job back in 2018, and he was a legitimate candidate to take over the Phillies’ front office this past offseason. Levine backed out of the running for that post, which ultimately went to Dave Dombrowski.
It’s not known whether Levine would have interest in leaving Minnesota for Colorado. Levine is currently under contract with the Twins through 2024 on the extension he signed in 2019.