Laurila: Q&A with Arizona Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers

From SABR member David Laurila at FanGraphs on December 26, 2012:

Kevin Towers is smarter than the so-called experts. That isn’t meant sarcastically. The Arizona Diamondbacks’ GM knows what he’s doing, and has both the background and track record to prove it. Skeptics panning his recent moves don’t have his 16 years of experience as a big-league general manager, nor have they been a minor-league pitching coach or scouting director.

Why did Towers trade highly-regarded pitching prospect Trevor Bauer for a young shortstop many feel has a limited offensive ceiling? He has addressed that question myriad times, but a truer understanding goes beyond the specifics of any individual deal. It lays in his overall philosophy, which he discussed shortly before taking time off for the holidays.


David Laurila: You’re a former scouting director. How do you approach player evaluation as a general manager?

Kevin Towers: First and foremost, you trust your scouts. Not only their evaluations, but their intuition and projections on players. Of course, now we have so many resources, like the analytics. We certainly look at that end of it as well.

When I’m making a deal, the first people I go to are my key evaluators. They’ve probably looked at more potential acquisitions than I have. I take in all of that information, and very rarely you’ll have a situation where it’s a [total] consensus. As a GM, you listen more than you talk. You weigh everything, then ultimately make a decision. Hopefully you have support from everybody on the decision, but while some are going to like it, some won’t. Others are probably on the fence.


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Originally published: December 27, 2012. Last Updated: December 27, 2012.