MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Minnesota Twins coach Paul Molitor has joined the field of candidates to replace retired manager Tom Kelly.

``I think he made his intentions known Monday with (general manager) Terry Ryan,'' Molitor's agent, Ron Simon, said Wednesday. ``I guess the next move's Terry's.''

Molitor said over the weekend that Ryan had asked him to apply and that he would make a decision about pursuing the job soon. On Wednesday, Simon said Molitor was ``very sure now.''

``He just took some time to think about it,'' Simon said.

Molitor is the third in-house candidate.

Third-base coach Ron Gardenhire, a successful minor league manager for three seasons before joining the Twins' staff in 1991, interviewed with Ryan on Sunday. Hitting coach Scott Ullger, who had a winning record in each of seven seasons as a minor-league manager, interviewed Monday.

Molitor, 45, retired as a player after the 1998 season. He has spent the past two seasons as an all-purpose coach and has drawn praise from the players for helping with several different aspects of the game, from baseball and hitting to the mental approach.

Ryan also has a short list of outside candidates he's planning to interview, which would be required to meet baseball's requirement that minority candidates be fairly considered for all managerial openings.

Ryan didn't return a phone call Wednesday.