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Arizona Diamondbacks’ GM Kevin Towers on why he traded Tyler Skaggs

LISTEN: Kevin Towers, D-backs GM

The Arizona Diamondbacks have been busy at the Winter Meetings in Orlando, landing slugger Mark Trumbo from the Los Angeles Angels in a three-way trade that also included the Chicago White Sox.

To land the slugger, the D-backs parted with 22-year-old left-handed pitching prospect Tyler Skaggs, whom Keith Law of ESPN had rated as his 12th-best minor league prospect as recently as February.

General manager Kevin Towers, the man who completed the deal, joined Doug and Wolf Wednesday on Arizona Sports 620, and talked about what the Diamondbacks gave up in Skaggs.

“He’s going back to the organization he started with,” Towers said. “Last year was a disappointing year — he was in the running there (for the fifth starter spot) with (Randall) Delgado and (Patrick) Corbin and was beat out by Corbin.

“(Skaggs) went to Reno and the velocity was of some concern to us, it went down from mid-90s to 88 or 89 at the end of the year. He did not have the confidence in his fastball command that he had in the past. You know, it may be a mechanical adjustment, who knows? When we talked to ballclubs about him, I think the knock why people were worried was ‘why the big drop in velocity?'”

A glance at Skaggs’ numbers from the 2012 season on, when he made six Major League starts with the Diamondbacks, shows average fastball velocity ranging from 88.8 mph (Sept. 20 vs. SD) on the low end to 91.4 mph (Aug. 22 vs. MIA) on the high end.

Skaggs’ 2013 numbers look similar, with fastball velocity ranging from 88.7 mph (July 27 vs. SD) to 90.6 mph (May 27 vs. Texas).

“That’s something that I’m sure the Angels are going to look at right now,” Towers said. “But we like our pitching. We like Delgado, we like Corbin. We think Archie Bradley would probably be a step ahead of (Skaggs) if a young pitcher was to make our ballclub this year.”