09/22/2010 3:20 PM ET
D-backs name Towers Executive Vice President & General Manager
(PHOENIX) - The Arizona Diamondbacks announced today they have agreed to terms with Kevin Towers on a two-year contract with club options to become the third Executive Vice President & General Manager in club history, according to D-backs' President & CEO Derrick Hall.
Towers was a special assignment scout for the New York Yankees in 2010 after serving 14 seasons as Executive Vice President & General Manager of the San Diego Padres from 1996-2009. Towers joins the Oakland Athletics' Billy Beane and the San Francisco Giants' Brian Sabean as the fifth longest-tenured general managers in Major League Baseball. Only the Detroit Tigers' Dave Dombrowski (22 years), Baltimore Orioles' Andy MacPhail (17 years), Cincinnati Reds' Walt Jocketty (16 years) and Milwaukee Brewers' Doug Melvin (15 years) have more experience among MLB's current group of general managers.
"We considered this a critical hire for the organization at this important time," Hall said. "We are in a much better place today than we were three months ago because of the tremendous job performed by Jerry Dipoto, and now Kevin Towers comes in to continue climbing on this uphill path. Kevin is an experienced General Manager who brings years of success, roster construction, pitching knowledge, industry networking and talent evaluation to the table. He understands what it takes to build a winner and will work diligently to bring continuity to the staff and sustainability to the results."
The Padres reached unprecedented heights under Towers' leadership, including winning four of the franchise's five National League West championships in 1996, 1998, 2005 and 2006 and advancing to the World Series in 1998 against the Yankees. San Diego's 2007 club fell one game shy of advancing to the postseason for a third straight year after losing a tie-breaker game to the Colorado Rockies for the league wild-card berth. The Padres had the fourth-most wins (346) in the National League from 2004-07 after Towers constructed an organizational-best 23-game turnaround from 2003 to 2004 to set the Padres' successful run of four consecutive winning seasons during the team's first four years in PETCO Park. With 1,108 wins as the Padres' General Manager, Towers is one of eight current general managers to post at least 1,000 victories during their career.
"We will be forever grateful for the extraordinary passion and commitment Jerry brought to the organization for the last five seasons and especially in the last three months," said D-backs' Managing General Partner Ken Kendrick. "It's significant to point out that Kevin's 14 seasons as a General Manager exceed the number of years the D-backs have been in Major League Baseball. Kevin is a highly competitive individual that wants to win not only in baseball but in everything else he does in life."
The Medford, Ore. native first joined the Padres when he was selected in the first round of the 1982 First-Year Player Draft after earning All-Western Athletic Conference honors as a right-handed pitcher for Brigham Young University. Towers was a Texas League All-Star in 1984 and pitched seven seasons in San Diego's farm system before a series of arm operations ended his playing career at Triple-A Las Vegas in 1988.
"I am very excited to be a part of the D-backs family," Towers said. "I am extremely appreciative of Ken and Derrick for giving me this opportunity to lead an organization with the ultimate goal of getting back to the playoffs, which I think the fans in Arizona deserve."
Towers began his post-playing career as an area scout for the Padres in Texas and Louisiana from 1989-91. During the summers of 1989 and 1990, he also served as pitching coach for the organization's short-season Single-A affiliate in Spokane, Wash., with the club winning Northwest League championships in both seasons. After two years with the Pittsburgh Pirates as a regional and national crosschecker, Towers returned to the Padres as Director of Scouting in August 1993, a position he held until being named General Manager on Nov. 17, 1995.