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Doug & Wolf

Updated Feb 10, 2014 - 4:31 pm

D-backs GM Towers on trading young talent: 'I think we know our players better than anybody else'

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Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson, left, and general manager Kevin Towers ride to the practice fields during the teams' first baseball spring training workout, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

No one will ever agree with every single trade a general manager makes.

Arizona Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers probably knows that better than anyone these days.

Early on in his tenure, he was lauded for acquiring key contributors like David Hernandez, Aaron Hill and J.J. Putz, but lately has been more known for trading away young talent like Trevor Bauer, David Holmberg, Matt Davidson, Tyler Skaggs and Adam Eaton.

Naturally, some moves will work out better than others, and the occasional miss is not reason enough to be completely down on a GM's plan or direction.

But when you seem to continually part with a team's top young prospects, players whom fans have heard so many promising things about as they've moved through the minor leagues, people have questions.

Towers has answers.

"I think we know our players better than anybody else, and we should," Towers told Doug and Wolf as part of Newsmakers Week on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Monday. "We maybe over-scout our players. We know character. We know, from a health standpoint, our trainers are probably the most progressive trainers that there are in the game when they're measuring spines and looking at what they do off the field. Are they smokers, are they drinkers, do they stay out late?

"And then they rank these guys."

Towers added that a player's risk level is judged, be it with potential health issues down the road or simple character flaws the organization does not want to deal with.

"We weigh all those things," he said. "To me, sometimes these decisions, people say, 'Why are you doing that,' well I can't explain it all the time, but there's reasons sometimes behind my madness.

"A lot of it is I don't think they're going to continue to trend upward. I think we've seen what we're going to get, and they might even go the other way."

And yes, Towers understands sometimes he'll be right and sometimes he'll be wrong. But regardless of how a deal ultimately turns out, every move he's made has been done so with one goal in mind.

"Every move that I've made or make, myself as well as our baseball operations staff, is for the betterment of this organization," he said. "It's not for selfish reasons or because I've got an ego or I don't like this guy as a person. It's because I think, in my heart of hearts, that we're going to be a better ball club not only now, but in the future."

But don't get him wrong, he does want to win now, and moves have certainly been made hoping to reach that end.

"If you're sitting there worrying about rebuilding and three, four, five years down the road, you're not going to be in this chair much longer," he said. "It used to be different that way, not anymore."

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About the Author

School: University of Arizona

When you started with Bonneville Phoenix: Fall 2008, right before Cardinals Super Bowl run

Favorite sports memory: Being at Game 7 of the 2001 World Series with my dad

Favorite all-time athlete: Larry Centers

Favorite sports movies: The Sandlot, Rookie of the Year, Jerry Maguire

Most crushing sports moment: Grew up in Arizona and went to UA from 2002-06. In short, there are too many to name just one.


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