D-backs closing in with Towers
PHOENIX – The D-backs are closing in on an agreement that would make Kevin Towers the club’s permanent GM according to an industry source and an announcement could be made as soon as Wednesday.
If the agreement is finalized Towers would take over for interim GM Jerry Dipoto, who replaced the dismissed Josh Byrnes on July 1. Dipoto, who drew a lot of praise throughout the industry and from D-backs team president and CEO Derrick Hall for the way he performed in the job, was the other finalist for the position.
Hall has declined comment throughout the process, but given his close working relationship with Dipoto, it surely must have been an agonizing decision for him.
Dodgers executives Logan White and De Jon Watson and Angels scouting director Eddie Bane, were in the initial candidate pool and had their interviews last week along with Towers and Dipoto.
It was not the first time Towers interviewed for the Arizona GM job. In the Fall of 2004, Towers was a candidate to replace Joe Garagiola Jr., but the team eventually went with Byrnes and Towers remained with the Padres.
Towers was dismissed as general manager of the Padres during the final week of the regular season in 2009. At the time of his dismissal, Towers was finishing his 14th season as general manager of the Padres and was the longest-tenured GM in the Major Leagues.
Well-respected for his scouting and talent evaluation skills, Towers was quickly snapped up by the Yankees where he spent the 2010 season as a special assistant with the Yankees working for good friend and New York general manager, Brian Cashman.
The Yankees are reportedly paying Towers $50,000. He’s still collecting over $1 million in salary from the Padres where he made close to $2 million per season towards the end of his tenure.
Towers, who has served as a scout, scouting director and national cross-checker during his time in baseball, is often referred to as the “Gunslinger” a label he wears proudly.
“If you were to define a gunslinger, you think back to throwback, old-school guy,” Towers said last October. “That’s the way I was taught when I played [from] coaches, rival executives, scouts, players, teammates. That’s the way I was taught to do it.
Towers would become the third permanent GM in franchise history. Garagiola served from 1995 when the franchise was first awarded to Arizona until Aug. 1, 2005 when he resigned to accept a position with Major League Baseball.
Bob Gebhard filled in on an interim basis and Byrnes was eventually hired over a field that included Towers in October.
Dipoto’s performance on the job, plus what was said to be a strong interview that included a detailed plan for the organization’s future, had him running neck-and-neck with Towers.
In a series of moves prior to the Trade Deadline, Dipoto was able to reduce the team’s future salary obligations by dealing Dan Haren, Edwin Jackson and Chris Snyder, while also restocking the farm system that had grown barren.