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D-backs’ Tony La Russa: Kevin Towers ‘did a great job’ on McCarthy trade

LISTEN: Tony La Russa, D-backs Chief Baseball Officer

When the Arizona Diamondbacks unloaded right-handed starter Brandon McCarthy in a trade with the New York Yankees that got them left-hander Vidal Nuño in return, fans had questions.

The first was likely a question about whether they got enough in return.

The second probably centered around who engineered the trade from the D-backs’ side, general manager Kevin Towers or chief baseball officer Tony La Russa.

La Russa, who has been on the job since mid-May, clarified the process Wednesday morning during an interview with Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.

“Kevin made me a part of the discussion from the beginning,” he said. “And I think he’s made two outstanding moves so far.”

Last weekend, Towers also traded lefty reliever Joe Thatcher and outfielder Tony Campana to the Los Angeles Angels for two prospects — right-handed pitcher Joey Krehbiel and outfielder Zach Borenstein.

“We were right on the same page, not only with the McCarthy trade but other discussions that are being held,” La Russa said. “I really believe at this point McCarthy could’ve used a change of scenery. We were able to free up some money, which I’m confident will go into the pot and be used to improve our roster.

“At the same time, I thought Kevin did a really good job and came back with some value.”

That value is Nuño, who pitched brilliantly in his D-backs debut Tuesday night. The California native pitched seven shutout innings, allowing just three hits while striking out seven and walking one, but settled for a no-decision after closer Addison Reed blew a save opportunity in the ninth inning.

“I thought it was a good trade,” La Russa said.

McCarthy, meanwhile, will make his Yankees debut Wednesday against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field.

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