The trio will be in uniform at spring training and be involved in minor league instruction and scouting. Cherry-picking some intriguing tweets from Mike Berandino of Pioneer Press about their intended roles:
Hawkins: "I'm going to be doing whatever Derek and Thad ask me to do. I want to learn everything about the organization from bottom to top"— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) November 28, 2016
Falvey plans to use all three in draft preparations, from pick one all the way through.— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) November 28, 2016
Falvey: "Diversity is important to us. This is one step in that direction. It won't be the last step."— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) November 28, 2016
Falvey, of course, is Derek Falvey, the new head of baseball operations and in a sense an example of the lack of diversity, racial and otherwise, on major league front offices. Increasingly, the men at the top -- and they are and have been all men -- have similar backgrounds, rooted in academics. The selection of Falvey to run the Twins operation may have been the last straw for consultant/headhunting firm Korn Ferry, which was bounced by the commissioners office shortly afterwards.
Hawkins, Hunter and Cuddyer are not of the Falvey-Thad Levine mold. They played 55 years in the majors, and any college they've had came in the offseasons. Hunter in particular has spoken of wanting to become a general manager; that kind of ambition is hardly out of place, but unlikely to be met without some form of apprenticeship even if the pendulum swings back toward the ex-jock at the head of the organization.
From all appearances, Falvey and Levine intend to give these three real jobs with real responsibilities, not just ceremonial appearances. And we'll see what they do with those chores.