After two weeks of flirting, Towers stays with Padres

Updated: November 4, 2005, 4:52 PM ET
Associated Press

SAN DIEGO -- So much for the notion that Padres general manager Kevin Towers can't coexist with Sandy Alderson.

Towers will remain with the Padres following a hectic two-week stretch in which he interviewed for the Arizona Diamondbacks' GM job, was considered to have a shot at filling the vacant job with the Boston Red Sox and was sought by the rival Los Angeles Dodgers for their GM opening.

Towers said he is not a candidate for the Boston job, and told the Dodgers, through Alderson, that he doesn't want to interview with them.

After hearing his named linked to other jobs, Towers told Alderson, the Padres' chief executive officer, that he was staying put.

"After what I went through with Arizona, the last four or five days, they were crazy with all the speculation out there," Towers said Thursday night before the Padres' annual awards dinner. "I don't think it was fair to this organization. One thing I want to make clear is that I wasn't throwing my name out there. It got to the point where it didn't stop."

Towers said the speculation about his job status was largely of his own doing. Alderson and owner John Moores gave the Diamondbacks permission to interview Towers, leading many to believe that with Alderson in charge of the franchise, Towers was no longer needed after 10 years as GM.

Towers interviewed in Phoenix on Oct. 19, but the job went to Josh Byrnes, who had been an assistant to Theo Epstein in Boston.

"This was draining. Our season was draining, and then to go into the offseason, and between what happened in Arizona and then all this speculation, I'm the one to blame," Towers said. "I created that by letting Sandy and John know that I wanted to go talk to Arizona. By that happening, I think everybody else said, 'The guy's available now.' I'm to blame for creating this speculation."

Towers, under contract with the Padres through 2007, said he interviewed with Arizona because he felt there may have been more long-term security with the Diamondbacks.

"I think after going through that process and coming back and having a chance to kind of reflect on a lot of the positives, I came to the realization that I had it pretty good in San Diego," said Towers, who's led the Padres to three NL West titles and one World Series in his tenure. "This was the organization that drafted me, made me scouting director and the GM at a very young age, an organization that has stuck with me through some very difficult times."

When Epstein quit as Red Sox GM on Monday, Towers instantly became linked to that job because of his history with Boston CEO Larry Lucchino. While San Diego's CEO, Lucchino promoted Towers from scouting director to GM in November 1995.

Alderson said the Red Sox hadn't sought permission to interview Towers.

Towers' control over the Padres' baseball operations have been in question since Alderson was hired on May 1 and given a minority ownership interest. Alderson worked in the commissioner's office before coming to San Diego, and prior to that was GM and president of the Oakland A's.

"I think Kevin's critical to our baseball operations," Alderson said. "Going into next season we're going to have as strong a baseball operations staff as any club in baseball, and it starts with Kevin."

Saying he's relieved and energized, Towers already has started to reshape a team that limped into the playoffs at 82-80 and was swept by the St. Louis Cardinals.

He acquired third baseman Vinny Castilla from Washington on Thursday for right-hander Brian Lawrence, meaning Joe Randa won't be resigned and that Sean Burroughs is back on the trading block.

Towers envisions a tough offseason in which the Padres will determine if they can afford to keep closer Trevor Hoffman and right fielder Brian Giles, who have filed for free agency.

Hoffman and Giles are expected to test the market after receiving initial offers from the Padres that their agents considered too low.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press