Offseason Stories: Kevin Towers's Dreamland

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in ,

I'll start off with a disclosure: I've never thought that Kevin Towers is a very good GM. I wasn't impressed with him in San Diego and his time in Arizona has done nothing to disabuse me of that position.

Which brings me to this offseason. Apparently, Towers's plan is to stockpile outfielders and shortstops like so many trading cards. Collecting outfielders is okay, since you need to play three at the same time, but shortstops? And these particular shortstops? For what he gave up?

Cliff Pennington finally wore out his welcome in Oakland, so Towers acquired him for Chris Young (Is that Chris B. Young? I've lost track). The move finally appeared to open up a spot for the talented yet marginalised Gerardo Parra, but as Lee Corso would say, not so fast my friend. But more on that later.

Then, in December, Towers traded away one of the most touted and skilled pitching prospects, Trevor Bauer, to Cleveland for Lars Anderson (bench guy at best, expected to start in AAA) and Didi Gregorius, who the Indians had just acquired from Cincinnati in the Shin-Soo Choo deal. Apparently, Bauer was traded because he's too outspoken, too cocky, and has his own way of warming up and long tossing. Well, since he's never had any history of arm trouble, I say let him keep doing what he's doing, because it works. But that's not the Kevin Towers way. Some 21-year-old kid thinks he knows better? Well screw him. And even though he's the biggest prospect in the organization, let's punish him for an outburst by not calling him up in September. It's not like we need him - we just went from worst to first to back to worst.

But Towers loves Didi Gregorius. He even went so far as to call him, and I'm not making this up, "a young Derek Jeter." Unfortunately, Kevin Towers is the only person to think this. As a bonus, if you Google "Didi Gregorius Derek Jeter Kevin Towers idiot" you get 4,600 hits. Including a gem where Towers says "I expect (Gregorius) to compete for the starting shortstop job this year. If he doesn't, then I'm an idiot."

Umm, Kevin, how do you think that makes Cliff Pennington feel? You traded for him to be the starting shortstop, then, fifty days later, you trade for his replacement. Before he's even swung a bat in anger for the Snakes. Way to build confidence!

Then there's the sad, sorry Justin Upton saga. Remember when I talked about the Chris Young trade? The logjam in the Arizona outfield was finally cleared - and then Towers went and signed Cody Ross. Back to the bench, Gerardo!

Unless, of course, the Snakes could trade Upton or Jason Kubel. Of the two, Upton would yield the most in return. He had a no-trade clause, but it was very small, only four teams. So there's still 25 teams Towers could make a deal with. And in fact, he made quite a good deal with the Mariners - four prospects for Upton.

Only - and here's where I was well and truly baffled - Seattle was one of the four teams on Upton's no-trade list! Not surprisingly, he blocked the trade. Then, the news comes down that Towers is negotiating a deal with the Cubs for Upton. Yep - you guessed it. The Cubs are also on Upton's list.

So let me get this straight: There are 25 teams that Kevin Towers could make a deal to trade Justin Upton, and Upton would have no say in the matter. There are a mere four teams that he could block a deal with, and Towers talks with not one, but two of them?


I don't care what reason Towers could give, there's really no excuse for that. Either he has no idea what's in his players' contracts, or he has the hubris that he could trade one of his star players and that player wouldn't use his very limited no trade clause), or he's just an idiot. But I guess we have to wait and see if Didi Gregorius battles for the starting shortstop job to figure that last one out.

Comments (1)

    Hey, man!

    Can you send me your postal address? I've got some cards for you. Gratis.

    Nick J.