According to a report from MLB Insider and Fox Sports Baseball writer Ken Rosenthal, former San Diego Padres’ general manager Kevin Towers was expected to be almost an automatic guarantee to return to the Padres’ organization had his close friend, Billy Eppler, been named the new GM of the Padres. Eppler, the current assistant GM for the New York Yankees, was the runner-up. Instead, as we all know, the Padres hired the Texas Rangers’ A.J. Preller to fill the vacant spot left by the firing of Josh Byrnes on June 20th.
Rosenthal also reports that although some GMs around baseball believe that bringing Towers back now might present some problems for Preller, who is a first-time GM, others think the current Diamondbacks’ general manager is the perfect fit for both the organization and for Preller. Towers is extremely close to Padres’ CEO Mike Dee, and could provide a perfect as Rosenthal terms it “sounding board” for the young, first-year GM.
It should also be pointed out, that Kevin Towers is a straight shooter, and after serving as Padres’ GM for 14 years, he would have no desire to return or jockey for Preller’s job. It is believed that if the Padres ask for permission to speak to Towers, the Diamondbacks would grant it. Former St. Louis Cardinals’ manager and recent Hall of Fame inductee, Tony LaRussa is now in charge of baseball operations for Arizona, and Towers is most likely to walk the plank at season’s end.