Kevin Towers, future Ranger exec?

There's been a lot of talk about the connections between former San Diego Padre g.m. Kevin Towers and potential Ranger owner Dennis Gilbert, and this story in the San Diego Union-Tribune about Towers and where he is in his life since being let go by the Padres suggests he'll be relocating to Arlington, should Gilbert be successful in his purchase:

Kevin Towers would like to see how the other half spends.

After 14 years of bargain-basement baseball, the Padres’ deposed general manager wants a glimpse of life in the penthouse. He’s looking to land at least a temporary gig with some big-budget ballclub that is undaunted by the deep end of the talent pool.

Preferably in the American League. Probably with the New York Yankees. Possibly, if Dennis Gilbert’s ownership group can move quickly enough, with the Texas Rangers.

I initially used the word g.m. instead of exec in the headline of this post, when I first was writing it, and then changed it, because I think there's a realistic chance (as I've discussed before) that Gilbert would want to embrace a Jerry Jones-like role, overseeing business operations while also filling the g.m. role with the team.  That said, if Gilbert does end up prevailing in his purchase, and doesn't take over the g.m. job himself at some point soon thereafter, I expect Towers to be the team's g.m. at this point next year.

I think it is a given that the current front office regime will stay in place through 2010, other than Nolan Ryan, who apparently isn't going to stick around if Gilbert prevails in the bidding, simply because by the time Gilbert gets approved, it will be too close to the start of the season for him to make wholesale organizational changes.  And it is certainly possible that Gilbert may decide not to make sweeping changes, particularly if the Rangers are a playoff team in 2010.

But if Gilbert ends up owning the team, and in particular if the Rangers' win total recedes from 2009, I expect Gilbert to take over in a hands-on role on the baseball side, whether as g.m. or bringing in Towers to be the g.m., and my guess is that you'll end up seeing a ton of turnover on the baseball side next offseason.

The irony of this, of course, is that something similar happened with Towers in San Diego.  As the article details, Sandy Alderson came in and was installed above Towers on the organizational chart, and Alderson brought in former Dodgers g.m. (and Moneyball hero) Paul DePodesta to work directly for him, rather than for Towers, a move that Towers apparently felt undercut his authority. 

Towers says in the article he doesn't want to join a situation where he'd be viewed as a threat to whomever is in charge, but I don't see how that wouldn't end up being the case if he were brought in to Texas, where the assumption would be that he'd be waiting to take over for Jon Daniels as g.m. 

The story also details the tension that resulted with DePodesta being brought on board, and the conflicting styles between the "affable" Towers and the more analytic DePodesta.*

* And as a side note, it was interesting to see the commenters at BTF, where this story is also linked, immediately start killing Towers for his reaction to DePodesta.  One of the things that both Moneyball and the media stories of DePodesta suggest is that people skills aren't his strength -- he seems, like a lot of highly intelligent people, to be less than comfortable with the sort of interpersonal communication skills that are usually critical to being successful in executive positions.  And it occurs to me that that may be way DePodesta generates such impassioned defense from much of the cyber-stathead mob...he's a hero for all the socially awkward, Asperger-esque geeks who take personally the criticisms leveled at DePodesta, and feel the ability to schmooze and communicate in ways other than via email are overrated.

Anyway...worth checking out, if only to get a glimpse at the guy who there's a good chance will be here in a major role at this time next year, should Dennis Gilbert's ownership group end up buying the Rangers.

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