Kevin Towers will probably win the GM of the Year award this season.
Such is the result of a team losing 97 games one year and likely winning a division title the next, especially with many new faces coming up big during the season.
In fact, Sports Illustrate’s Jon Heyman says it is not even really an argument.
Despite keeping the payroll at about $60 million, which is around the same as last year and sixth from the bottom in the majors this year, Towers still made several subtle personnel improvements, using every method possible, from trades to cost-efficient free-agent signings to even Rule V and the minors. The result is a total transformation. The 85-62 first-place Diamondbacks already have won 20 more games than last year, when they were 65-97.
While Towers doesn’t deserve all the credit, a point Heyman makes in the article, he notes that there is really no way to avoid praising the GM.
He is, after all, the one in charge, and the retooling of the bullpen could be pointed to as the single most important factor in the team’s turnaround, and that’s all on Towers.
Then again, Heyman points to a different Towers decision.
Towers’ most important call of all may have been to retain Gibson, a mid-2010 Hall hire who should win Manager of the Year honors unanimously. The coaching staff, which Towers hired, is similarly long on major league experience, giving the D-backs the gravitas they needed with a young team.
No matter the reason, it is hard to argue with what Towers has done this season. Not every move has worked out (Melvin Mora, Armando Galarraga, Juan Miranda), but the good certainly outweighs the bad.
And the number of wins certainly outweigh the number of losses.