The Arizona Diamondbacks announced contract extensions for manager Kirk Gibson and general manager Kevin Towers Monday.
Their respective deals were due to run out after the 2014 season, with the new deals extending beyond the end of this upcoming season. Exact terms were not disclosed at the request of both Towers and Gibson.
“When we went into the offseason I think we had talked about going into this last season as a ‘just perform and we’ll start over and give you a new contract,'” D-backs president Derrick Hall said. “But personally, I don’t think that that’s a very healthy way to go into the season.”
Hall said he and owner Ken Kendrick had conversations about extending the contracts, and decided the best idea would be to do just that.
“These are guys that I have a lot of confidence in and feel like they’ve earned it, they deserve it,” Hall said. “If you look at the track record, these are two guys that have not had a losing season.”
The Diamondbacks won 94 games in 2011, which was Gibson’s first full season as manager and Towers’ first as GM. Arizona won 81 games each in 2012 and 2013, though, leading some to speculate that the duo was on the proverbial “hot seat” heading into this season.
That is something Hall said he wanted to avoid.
“I think it was time to do it before going into spring training,” Hall added. “In fact, I probably would have preferred to do it sooner.”
Since taking over for A.J. Hinch midway through the 2010 season, Gibson has compiled a 290-279 record with one NL West title.
Towers was hired by the team as general manager in September 2010.
“I’m certainly very excited, as is Gibby,” Towers said. “This is a place that we hope we get to spend the rest of our career at.”
Towers has certainly made his mark on the D-backs over the last few seasons, swinging quite a few deals — some of which have drawn a fair amount of criticism. But the GM is confident in the team he’s assembled heading into the season, saying he thinks the D-backs are a ball club that has “a chance to not only win the NL West, but hopefully go deep in the postseason.”
“I’m glad to be a part of it. I’m very thankful — I don’t take these things lightly,” Towers added. “There’s only 30 of these jobs and although they’re not easy, it takes confidence in the people up above you to allow you to kind of keep steering the ship and I’m glad they’ve given both Gibby and myself the opportunity.
“We’ll make them proud.”
Towers went on to say he’s glad this got done if only to make life easier on Gibson, who’s job he believes could be impacted negatively by going into the season with just one year left on his contract. But as for himself, he said the possibility that he was heading into the last year of his contract did nothing to impact how he was doing things prior to the extension, perhaps sacrificing future success to try and win now.
“Regardless if I was on a one-year deal or a two-year deal I wanted my legacy to be a positive one and a good one,” he said. “And not one that if I wasn’t to be back next year, that people would think that I was doing things for selfish reasons because of myself. I care too much about the people that own this organization and our fan base to do something like that, regardless of what the perception was.”