MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins fired Paul Molitor on Tuesday, one season after he won the American League Manager of the Year award, in pursuit of more productive development by their younger players.

“This wasn’t about our record this year. This is about what we think is best as we continue to grow a young team in the direction toward being a championship contender,” said chief baseball officer Derek Falvey.

A Hall of Fame player with Milwaukee, Toronto and Minnesota, Molitor has been offered an undefined position in baseball operations with the Twins. Falvey and other club executives expressed confidence that Molitor would accept it and remain with the team.

“I fully respect that decision,” Molitor said in a statement distributed by the team. “I will forever be grateful for the opportunity they gave me to serve in the role as manager for these past four years. I’m going to consider their genuine offer to serve in a different capacity to positively impact the Twins from a different role.”

The Twins went 305-343 under the 62-year-old Molitor, with one appearance in the postseason in 2017. They were 78-84 this year, long out of postseason contention after a series of early setbacks to several key players.

Falvey and General Manager Thad Levine inherited Molitor when they were hired two years ago, when owner Jim Pohlad said keeping him would be a prerequisite for the job. After the Twins went 85-77 and reached the wild-card game, Molitor was given a new three-year contract.

RANGERS: General Manager Jon Daniels says he expects to interview five to eight candidates in his search to replace Jeff Banister, who was fired with 10 games left in the season. Don Wakamatsu, the bench coach who became interim manager, is considered a candidate.

Texas finished last in the AL West for only the second time in 11 seasons.

RAYS: The team is getting into the soccer business with the purchase of the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the United Soccer League, who play their home games at Al Lang Stadium, the onetime waterfront spring training home of the Rays. The sale price was not disclosed.

ATTENDANCE: Major League Baseball’s average attendance dropped 4 percent to 28,830, its lowest since 2003 after 14 consecutive seasons topping 30,000.

In a season of unusually cold and wet weather, 17 of the 30 teams, including the Red Sox, experienced drops.

Total attendance fell to 69.63 million from 72.67 million last year and a high of 79.5 million in 2007. The average is down 14.4 percent from its high of 32,785 in 2007, the last year before the Great Recession. It had not been this low since 28,013 in 2003.