Former Padres general manager Kevin Towers headed to Phoenix on Tuesday for a second interview with Diamondbacks officials about their GM opening, according to a major-league source.
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In earlier discussions, Towers spoke with club officials about manager Kirk Gibson, the team’s coaches and other baseball matters, the source said. The two sides, however, have yet to talk money — a potential stumbling block to a deal.
Towers was earning almost $2 million annually when the Padres dismissed him last October. The Diamondbacks’ previous GM, Josh Byrnes, was under contract through 2015. The team might prefer to pay Towers a salary below $1 million — and if he does not accept, they could simply retain their interim GM, Jerry DiPoto.
Then again, the difference between say, $750,000 and $2 million, is roughly the price of a utility infielder — and a modestly priced one at that.
Towers and DiPoto are the two finalists for the position. The Diamondbacks also had considered De Jon Watson and Logan White, both assistant GMs with the Dodgers, and Angels scouting director Eddie Bane. But all have been told that they no longer are under consideration.
Ownership is said to be torn between loyalty to DiPoto, an executive with the team since 2006, and the appeal of Towers, who reached the postseason four times in 14 seasons as GM of the San Diego Padres.
DiPoto’s moves have been well-received in the industry, which may explain why the Diamondbacks have not already hired Towers, who has much more executive experience.
The performance of right-hander Daniel Hudson, acquired from the White Sox in a package for Edwin Jackson, has been particularly encouraging for the team. Hudson is 6-1 with a 1.65 ERA in 10 starts.