Kevin Towers Wants Jerry Dipoto to Stay in Arizona; He Likely Will
After Dipoto lost out on the general manager's job to Kevin Towers on Wednesday, he reportedly was on the verge of leaving the organization, and Towers, too, had doubts.
But Towers spent four hours with Dipoto recently and came away with highly favorable impressions, reinforcing the positives he'd heard from Diamondbacks executives and baseball people outside of the club.
Towers told FanHouse on Saturday that he wants to empower Dipoto as his top baseball executive, making him Vice President of Scouting and Player Development.
According to other major league sources, Dipoto is now likely to stay with the Diamondbacks.
"He'd be a huge asset," Towers said. "Things went well in our talks. I told him, 'Don't rush into this,' but it's my desire that he stays. I'd like to keep him if I can. I think it's really kind of up to Jerry."
Diamondbacks executives said they hired Towers largely because he was a GM for 14 years with the Padres.
Dipoto had never been a GM until taking over in Arizona for Josh Byrnes, who was fired July 1. Previously Dipoto was Arizona's director of scouting and player personnel. He was a finalist for the Mariners' GM two years ago.
By July, Towers had already been eyeing the Arizona job. Then he saw Dipoto make two trades that sent away veteran pitchers Dan Haren and Edwin Jackson and brought back three pitching prospects, major league pitchers Dan Hudson and Joe Saunders and nearly $40 million in savings. At the time, Towers was working as a special assistant to Yankees GM Brian Cashman.
"I'm not going to lie: When I saw some of the moves Jerry made at the trade deadline, I said, 'I've got a real battle on my hands right now,'" Towers said. "I like those trades."
Towers said he didn't have a relationship with Dipoto before meeting him Thursday.
"I think he will be a GM someday," Towers said. "I actually told that to Ken Kendrick, our owner, and Derrick Hall, our president. After talking to Jerry for three, four hours, I told them, 'I can see why it was a gut-wrenching decision for you.' This guy is good. Very good."
Four years into his tenure as Padres GM, Towers created a position for Ted Simmons to oversee scouting and player development, starting in 2000. Previously Simmons was a special assignment scout to Indians GM John Hart.
Simmons moved back into scouting five years later. In late 2005, Towers filled the same job with Grady Fuson, who held a similar post with the Rangers.
Towers envisions Dipoto for the same job . As such, he would strive to mesh philosophies relating to the scouting and drafting of amateur players with the development of minor-leaguers at Arizona's six minor-league clubs. A farm director and a scouting chief would report to Dipoto. Towers would be freed up to meet the considerable time demands of evaluating major league personnel, networking with 29 other clubs, and relating to club executives and Kendrick, player agents and the media.
"Jerry would be the No. 2 baseball guy within the organization," Towers said, adding that Dipoto would bring "critical" continuity to the organization.
The Diamondbacks will give DiPoto several days to think it over, but strong indications are that Towers and DiPoto will be teaming up within 10 days to further Arizona's preparations for the offseason. Whether they can tranform the last-place garden snakes into rattlers remains to be seen.