Oct
06

Should the Yanks try to bring Kevin Towers aboard?

By

"Why the hell did Melky slide into first again? Sigh..."Late last week the Padres let Kevin Towers go, the longest tenured general manager in the game. He took over control of the Friars in the winter of 1995, when Derek Jeter had a grand total of 12 big league hits and Mariano Rivera just two games finished with zero saves. We know that seven or eight teams have already contacted Towers about immediate work, including the Mets, but he said he wants to take his time before making a decision. Would it be smart for Brian Cashman – one of Towers’ closest friends in the business – to get in touch the ex-Padres GM about joining his front office braintrust?

Think about it, the way Cashman’s front office is currently structured, there’s two key principles that stand out:

  1. There’s no one that could immediately replace him.
  2. There’s no one to challenge his ideas.

The first point is obviously by design and a very smart business move by Cash. Without someone readily available to replace him, his job is that much more secure. The second part can be a problem. Cashman’s only assistant GM is Jean Afterman, who’s expertise lies in negotiation and contracts and things of that nature. She’s not a “baseball person,” as some are wont to call it. Mark Newman is the VP of Baseball Ops, but he’s basically the farm director. Damon Oppenheimer obviously handles amateur scouting. That’s pretty much it in terms of senior executives. In fact, after getting his autonomy in 2006, Cashman pulled a Michael Corleone and axed club officials like Lin Garrett, John Cox, and Chuck Cottier, among others.

The reason the Red Sox have such a successful front office is because of all the voices with input. Beyond Theo Epstein there’s assistant GM’s Ben Cherington and Jed Hoyer, special assistants Allard Baird (former Royals GM) and David Howard, senior advisor Bill James, and statguy Tom Tippett (officially Director of Baseball Information Services). That’s seven guys bouncing ideas off each other. Cashman doesn’t have anyone like that, except Stick Michael every once in a while.

Towers’ credentials are undeniable. After seven seasons in the Padres farm system as a player, he doubled as pitching coach for Single-A Spokane and a scout in 1989 and 1990. After three years as a scout for the Pirates, he became San Diego’s scouting director, then moved up to GM. If there’s one thing Towers can consider his specialty, it’s pitching. He’s proven to be an exceptional evaluator of talent on the mound, and frankly there’s 30 clubs out there that can use a guy like that.

Since Towers shouldn’t have any trouble finding another GM gig, his close buddy Cash would need to pull off a pretty wicked sell job to bring him aboard. Hell, with any luck, maybe he’d bring Paul DePodesta along with him. I’m of the belief that the more information and the more input the better, so obviously I’d love to see KT join the Yanks front office. What do you think, should they make  run at Towers?

Photo Credit: John R. McCutchen, Union Tribune

Categories : Front Office
  • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

    Towers–and possibly DePodesta–would be great additions but wouldn’t they both be “threats” to Cashman, in that they easily insertable options if ownership grows dissatisfied with Cash?

    But, yeah, getting even one of those two would be great.

    • crawdaddie

      Yes, Towers is a great evaluator of pitching talent and is very close to Cashman. I’m sure he won’t be unemployed for long and will probably be a GM again within a couple of years, but having serve as a consultant to Cashman would be ideal for the Yankees to properly evaluate their accumulated pitching talent over the next year or so.

  • Don

    I was on board before you wrote this, well done.

    Towers is vastly underrated for his work in small market minded San Diego.

  • Don

    PS. Ive met Jean Afterman, she is definitely not a “baseball person”.

    Neither is any of Cashman’s other “assistants”.

  • pat

    I would definitely be down with bringing him in as a talent evaluator. With our budget for the draft and his expertise we would have alot more hits than misses.

  • Mike HC

    At the end of the day, only one guy can make the decision. Too many voices can cloud his decision making. I think what we have going on right now is working. I would stick with what we are doing now, and decide not to add any former GM’s.

    • andrew

      Only one guy can make the decision, but wouldn’t it be nice to have somebody else to give him an idea or two? Or to say, “hold on B-Money, maybe that’s not the brightest idea”

      I’d be fine with adding more baseball minds to the FO

      • Mike HC

        In theory it seems like a good idea. Yea, why not add former GM’s to the front office. But in reality, they are not with their former teams for a reason, and having Cashman as our undisputed top dog has worked better than all the input he used to get from Tampa. I would not mind more voices, to a certain extent, but why not start to develop our own in house talent. No need to hire failed GM’s.

        • whozat

          Even when that reason is “Hey…so, I’m a new owner and…I feel the need to mark my territory and clear out everyone who worked for the last guy”?

          • jsbrendog

            foiled!

          • Mike HC

            Yes, even then. Why do you think the new owner didn’t want to keep him on staff? And even still, he is a GM. We already have a GM, Brian Cashman. Adding him will be redundant and when too many people have basically the same job, it becomes redundant, inefficient and detrimental.

            • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              No matter how many negative words you use to describe it, adding a smart and experienced mind to the front office is not a bad thing. Plenty of front offices have guys who have previously been GMs and who now work as advisors to the GM.

              You know… Like the Yankees, with Gene Michael.

              • Mike HC

                No matter how many times you say it is not a bad thing, does not make it true. I know that if I was GM, and built the Yankee team I built this year, I would not want, or need a recently fired GM coming in and muddying the waters. I believe guys should have clearly defined roles, so these former GM’s would be what, general advisors? Assistant GM’s, just guys who sit there, say their peace, then shut up? Someone who has the ear of Steinnbrenner? I just don’t like it, and it is not so obvious and cut and dry that it is a good move.

                • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Just because you don’t know what their official role would be doesn’t mean they wouldn’t have clearly-defined roles subordinate to the GM. You assume it would be some sort of clusterf*ck, but that an unreasonable assumption. It’s much more reasonable to assume any advisor would have a clearly-defined role subordinate to the GM than to assume they wouldn’t. Organizations with the size and sophistication of the Yankees aren’t completely unaware of effective management theories.

                • Mike HC

                  I just think that just because you give someone a clearly defined role, or give them a certain title, that is not how it necessarily plays out. Interoffice dynamics and employee relations are complicated and are developed by the personalities, experience and the expertise of the actual people, and are usually not defined by what role they are given, or by title.

                  You very well may be right. If you were running a team, you might want many advisors and former top guys. That is just not how I would run my team. There are more than two ways to skin a cat. Both of our methods can work. Just personal preference for me.

                • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  “I just think that just because you give someone a clearly defined role, or give them a certain title, that is not how it necessarily plays out. Interoffice dynamics and employee relations are complicated and are developed by the personalities, experience and the expertise of the actual people, and are usually not defined by what role they are given, or by title.”

                  Surely. But nobody here is arguing that it’s always best to have a large management team in a vacuum, without regard to the particular personalities and talents involved. If the Yankees were to hire Tower and/or DePo, or anyone else for that matter, it’s most reasonable to assume they’re doing so with some sort of idea how the team will work together. None of this is happening in a vacuum. And, now that I think about it, the very people we’re talking about adding to the mix are coming from a situation in which they, harmoniously, worked together as a team. I don’t think it’s a big stretch to think these particular people wouldn’t be unable to work effectively as a team beneath a GM.

                  “You very well may be right. If you were running a team, you might want many advisors and former top guys. That is just not how I would run my team. There are more than two ways to skin a cat. Both of our methods can work. Just personal preference for me.”

                  So… It’s 2040, you’re named the Yankees’ GM, and Brian Cashman and Gene Michael’s disembodied head, Futurama-style, offer to be your advisors and work beneath you in the front office. You turn them down?

                  If it’s a matter of the size of the management team… Nobody here is arguing that the Yankees should have ten former GMs sitting in a room advising Cashman. We’re talking about one, maybe two guys, here.

                • Mike HC

                  If we are really getting down to it, I know so little about the Yankee front office that it is ridiculous for me to even speculate on how adding these guys to the mix will affect the on field product. You know just as much as me. But, this is a blog where you get to spout off unchecked, not well thought out ideas, and just have an open discussion.

                  My basic premise is that too many guys in the same front office who have been GM’s in the past is not a great thing. The Yanks have been successful with the way it is has been for the past 5 years or so. Why shake things up now?

                  And to your final point about Cashman and Michaels in 2040, I would not hire them. If they are not coming in to be the undisputable top guys, there is no need to mess with our current GM. Again, just personal preference, other people might be more comfortable having all those extra advisors.

                • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  “But, this is a blog where you get to spout off unchecked, not well thought out ideas, and just have an open discussion.”

                  Ok… But it’s also a blog where you can have discussions with other people and, through those discussions, arrive at more well-thought out ideas.

                  “The Yanks have been successful with the way it is has been for the past 5 years or so. Why shake things up now?”

                  Complacency is a poor policy for someone involved in a competitive endeavor. Always strive for improvement, no matter how successful you are.

                  “And to your final point about Cashman and Michaels in 2040, I would not hire them. If they are not coming in to be the undisputable top guys, there is no need to mess with our current GM. Again, just personal preference, other people might be more comfortable having all those extra advisors.”

                  So then you’d have…. No advisors? Or is your rule just that if you’re going to have advisors they have to be people who have never been GMs? Seems like you’re cutting a lot of talented and smart people out of your hiring pool. Part of my hypothetical is that these guys are offering to work as your advisors, with full knowledge that they will be assisting you, as the GM, and that you, and not them, will have all decision-making authority. Whatever, obviously this entire conversation has pretty much run its course at this point, but I don’t understand why you wouldn’t want the absolute best people on that role.

                • Mike HC

                  Just because they are former GM’s does not mean they are the best. I don’t think that the jobs those two did were so overwhelming that they must be added to Cashman’s team if we have the chance. We should be able to develop some fresh voices and new faces. I am usually for new and different, rather than retreading the same guys who have been around the league forever.

                • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Ok but what if those two guys are absolutely the best, smartest guys available. Person A and Person B are former GMs who want to work as your assistant, under all the conditions outlined above, and they are smarter and more talented than the other options available to you. Do you hire them?

                • Mike HC

                  I didn’t see this before I responded below, so this will be my last post.

                  Tougher. I guess if I had no insecurity with my own ability or job security, then yes, it would be stupid not to bring them in to help the team. Of course, your “these are inarguably the two smartest people available” hypo is unrealistic. Things are not that easy. Experience does not always mean smarter or better for any individual situation.

            • andrew

              Tony Pena was a manager for the Royals, and everyone was talking about how great he was working with the infielders and catchers and how great he was with Cano when he came over here. I don’t think there’s such thing as too many great baseball minds in an organization.

              • Mike HC

                Coaching is different. Every manager has a different specialty or skill set. Only one guy can have the final say and the final vision for how he wants to build a team.

                • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Says you. Why would you think the field manager has any less authority in executing his duties than the general manager does in executing his? The field manager clearly has final say regarding on-field decisions, no matter how many assistants he may have and no matter whether or not those assistants may have been field managers themselves in the past. You haven’t given a good reason why the same wouldn’t hold true for a general manager other than because you say so.

                • Mike HC

                  When I am posting under my name, it goes without saying that it “says me.”

                  And the Pena comment had to do with teaching, not in game decisions or playing decisions.

                • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  “When I am posting under my name, it goes without saying that it “says me.”

                  No need to get snippy. Clearly I meant I think the only evidence you’re presenting is your own opinion. I’ll say it in a less snarky way next time we converse.

                  “And the Pena comment had to do with teaching, not in game decisions or playing decisions.”

                  Ok… So why would adding an experience advisor to Cashman’s team, someone for Cashman to bounce ideas off of and to assist Cashman, be any different than Girardi having Pena on the bench with him, or Torre having Zimmer, or [insert manager and bench coach combo here]? Why is it ok for a field manager but not a general manager? What’s the big difference?

                • Mike HC

                  I did get a little snippy there. I just don’t get the “says you” thing. It is obviously being said by me, and I don’t think I am the word of God, so it is clearly just an opinion of mine. It can’t possibly be a fact that adding these two guys will definitely not work. Just a prediction, or just a personal opinion or preference on what I would do.

                  To your point, there are obviously similarities and differences. If Towers is especially proficient at finding certain types of talents, not in Cashman’s expertise, then I am all for it. I just don’t like the idea of the general advisor, or just a guy to bounce ideas off of. Cashman has done fine with what he has now. And, on field teaching is different than front office decisions in obvious ways. One being there are 25 players who need coaching, whereas in the front office, it is one guy making the final decision based on the input of many other individuals.

                • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  “I just don’t get the ‘says you’ thing. It is obviously being said by me, and I don’t think I am the word of God, so it is clearly just an opinion of mine.”

                  Like I said above, I just meant I think the only evidence you’re presenting is your own opinion, instead of looking at the available evidence and then making your decision based on your analysis of that evidence. I think a lot of good reasons have been presented as to why it’s beneficial to have a intelligent, talented advisors, and the only reason I see on the other side is someone saying “well I don’t think it’s good to have advisors.” Thus: “Says you.” Whatever. Like I said above, if you don’t like it, I’ll put it in my back pocket when we converse in the future.

                  “I just don’t like the idea of the general advisor, or just a guy to bounce ideas off of.”

                  Is the bench coach not a “general advisor” to the field manager? Do you not like the idea of the bench coach? And nobody’s saying Towers, or DePo, would be hired as some sort of man without a mission within the organization who exists simply to sit in a room and let Cashman bounce ideas off of him. You’re assuming these guys wouldn’t have defined roles within the organization.

                  “Cashman has done fine with what he has now.”

                  Again… Complacency is a poor policy for someone involved in a competitive endeavor. Always strive for improvement, no matter how successful you are.

                  “And, on field teaching is different than front office decisions in obvious ways. One being there are 25 players who need coaching, whereas in the front office, it is one guy making the final decision based on the input of many other individuals.”

                  During the game, the bench coach sits next to the manager for the purpose of advising the manager on in-game tactical decisions, and there are other coaches available for the manager to consult as well. During the game, the manager is, in your words, “one guy making the final decision based on the input of many other individuals.” It’s no different.

                • Mike HC

                  You are very tough man. You make a lot of good points and I can’t put anything past you, considering you italic every sentence I write and write an individual response to each sentence.

                  I don’t have facts supporting that too many advisors who are former top guys themselves is a bad thing. Every situation is also different. If your point is that I have no concrete evidence to back up my point, you are right, and I don’t have the time (well, maybe the time), or the inclination to gather that evidence. I may very well be wrong, and the Cashman/Towers or Cashman/DePodesta or the Cashman/Towers/DePodesta group may be a brilliant braintrust who rules the league for years to come. I really don’t know. It is just not something “I THINK” is necessary, and “I THINK” it would have a greater chance of messing things up than really adding any true value. Other people may “think” differently.

                • Mike HC

                  And just to clarify, in a vacuum, I don’t think it is good to have on staff advisors who have had the same job title as you with a different team, only this time they are your underlings. I believe that you need and should have advisors on staff who are naturally lower on the food chain than our top guy. It is ok to have out of organization advisors who may be a friend or confidant that are “higher up” then you, but not on your stafff, interacting with your employees on an everyday basis. Too much can go wrong and there is not enough of a pay off to risk it, IN MY OPINION. It is just my take on human nature and I don’t expect everyone to see it my way.

                • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Look… I get that you’re just telling us what you think and you’re entitled to your opinion and all that jazz. But I “think” we’re at our most effective when we make our decisions based on reasoned analysis of the available evidence and not just on our initial gut feeling. That’s all. Sure, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but some opinions are more well-reasoned and thought-out than others.

                • Mike HC

                  Fair enough. Some things that make complete rational, logical sense in theory, don’t work out in practice. I know you are not going to be satisfied with that response, and can rip it apart 10 different ways, but it is just how I feel. Sometimes there are other factors that make completely logical, well thought decisions, just not work out. This is my last post on this topic. You can have the last word here if you want.

                  It was fun though, and while a tiny bit frustrating having discussions with you, they are always fun.

                • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Always a pleasure.

                  “Sometimes there are other factors that make completely logical, well thought decisions, just not work out.”

                  Sure, totally… But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to make the best decisions possible. What happens afterwards is not necessarily the best measure of whether that decision was the best decision when it was made. The right decisions don’t always work out, but it’s still always better to make the best decision at the time than to not make the best decision. Just because other things may happen subsequent to that decision and plans may not work out the way they were intended doesn’t mean that anything but the best decision is acceptable.

                  Coincidentally, someone we’re been talking about here wrote a blog post that I love on this very subject. Check out Paul DePodesta on this very topic:

                  http://itmightbedangerous.blog.....ocess.html

                • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  For anyone who doesn’t want to click the link, here’s the gist of it:

                  Good Process, Good Outcome = Deserved Success
                  Good Process, Bad Outcome = Bad Break
                  Bad Process, Good Outcome = Dumb Luck
                  Bad Process, Bad Outcome = Poetic Justice

        • jsbrendog

          just because he is no longer with the padres doesn’t mean he is a “failed gm.” the guy was the longest tenured gm and was only ousted due to an ownership change. With what he had and what he did in SD I wouldn’t have anything against saying he is the NL Billy Beane, or even better with his talent evaluation.

          ricciardi = failed gm who might have trouble finding a job again soon (unless the royals are hiring, which they’re not)
          towers = very very goood gm whodid a lot with what he had

          • Mike HC

            Yea, I forgot how much talent the Padres have put together over the past decade or so. All those playoff runs. All those monster prospects. Oh wait, the Padres have been terrible. Their top guys have not really panned out. Never mind

            • dudes

              that peavy guy turned out to be pretty good.

            • jsbrendog

              adrian gonzalez, jake peavy, chris young, trevor hoffman, countless buy low bullpen arms who have blossomed (heath bell, cla meredith, scott linebrink)

              whatever. your opinion is fine. but kevin towers was the gm there for almost 15 years for a reason. and the reason he is no longer is because of a change in ownership. he is/was a good gm and deserves and will get another shot. Why not bring him in to the fold for a year or two. sign him to a 2-3 yr contract then next year when someone wants him to be their gm you get compensation for letting him out of his contract.

              and while he is here he uses his pitching talent evaluating acumen to score a couple buy low guys and help in the draft.

              then, he and cash can pickup their trading friendship once he moves on.

              win win

              • Mike HC

                The Padres have been awful for a while now. While it may not have been Towers fault, I don’t think he walks into a job interview and says “the job I did with the Padres speaks for itself. Look at how successful I was.”

                • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  “The Padres have been awful for a while now.”

                  The Padres won division titles in 2005 and 2006.

                • Mike HC

                  I don’t think very highly of the Padres. I may have exaggerated how bad they were, but I never considered them a really dangerous team, except their World Series year really.

                  You are right on this point though. I was being too tough on the Padres.

                • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Just to pile on a bit… During Towers’ 15 season tenure, the Padres made the playoffs 4 times while winning 4 division titles, and made it to the World Series once (we all know the details of that one).

                  That is not a bad track record for any organization, let alone one that has dealt with ownership turmoil, to say the least, and relatively small payrolls (since 2000 generally in the $50 million range).

                • Mike HC

                  Again, I’m with you. I was a bit too tough on his tenure with the team. Still nothing great though, and not something that can really stand on its own to measure Towers value.

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    Theo Epstein + Ben Cherington + Jed Hoyer + Allan Baird + David Howard + Bill James + Tom Tippett = Brian Ca$hman.

    Pretty impressive, Ca$h!

    • pat

      Any one of those guys could GM in the National League.

      /Gammons’d

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        The Red Sox have an intern who could be traded for a Jocketty-type Front Office type.

        • Tom Zig

          (golf clap)

  • Brooklyn Ed

    does Towers comes with A-Gon?

    /sarcasm.

  • http://www.twitter.com/MatthewHarris84 Matt H. :: Sec105

    I say do it. I’ve always liked Towers and as stated above, it’s good to have other voices in the room when making decisions.

  • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    Yes to all of this. Yes to Towers, and a big yes to DePo. It’s a pipe-dream, but a Cash/Towers/DePo combo, with Cash leading the team, would be ideal.

  • Brooklyn Ed

    if the Yanks does in fact bring in Towers, it would be nice to see him bringing Adams and Gregerson.

  • Chris

    I think Brian Cashman the most underrated GM in baseball. On the radio this morning, they were talking about the new wave of GMs (young and not former players) and pointed to Theo as starting the trend. They completely ignored the fact that Cashman was a GM for 5 years before Theo and has been more successful.

    • pat

      Cashman will never get recognition because of the public perception that he only spends money.

      • Tom Zig

        That’s fine. I’d rather him not be known for leaving the ballpark in a gorilla costume.

  • Accent Shallow

    I wouldn’t be opposed to bringing in more front office types, but such arrangements can get messy, quickly.

    See: the Mets.

  • A.D.

    Would Towers be up for being 2nd fiddle to Cash? and the replacement idea is true, however, if the Yanks want to replace Cash, they won’t have trouble finding someone to bring in.

    • jsbrendog

      and the replacement idea is true, however, if the Yanks want to replace Cash, they won’t have trouble finding someone to bring in.

      exactly what i was thinking. if the yankees are dissatisfied with cashman it won’t matter if there is an in house replacement or not. he is gone. i honestly don’t feel that having someone like towers who is a ready in house replacemtn would change anything in the way cashman owuld be handled. The only thing I could see happening is the yanks trying to maybe play hardball with cashman salarywise for his next contract.

      ie: well towers iw under contract working for this much and he knows the org now so we’ll only pay you this much.

  • Free Mike Vick

    Who would Cashman trade with if Towers comes to us? lol

  • Sweet Dick Willie

    Two questions:

    1) Why would Cash want to do this (it would obviously threaten his job security)?

    2) Why would Towers want to do this (he could get his own gig, w/ more control and presumably more $$$)?

    • crawdaddie

      Towers is probably going to get another GM gig and probably within the next couple of years. Therefore, Cashman can bring him on as a consultant until a GM job opens up for Towers. Both of these guys are close friends and I think Towers is more of a west coast type guy so having him consult and evaluate talent for the Yankees for year or so will work out great for him and the Yankees.

      • Sweet Dick Willie

        Towers will another GM gig this off season if he wants one.

  • CountryClub

    I’d love to see it. But he’s a “feel guy” and not a “stat guy”. That seems to go against how Cashman is running the team now.

    • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      I’m not so sure that’s true. Sure Towers is a former scout and he, himself is probably more adept on the scouting side than the stats side of the equation, but this is the same guy who hired Paul “Google Boy” DePodesta to work with him in San Diego. It’s not like Towers is some old-guard stalwart that doesn’t respect the value of modern statistical analysis.

      • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

        It’s not like Towers is some old-guard stalwart that doesn’t respect the value of modern statistical analysis.

        Fielding percentage is fine by me.

        Sincerely,

        Ruben Amaro.

      • CountryClub

        Isn’t part of the reason he was let go is because the team wanted to get away from a guy that goes on intuition more than stats? I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that’s what I’ve read.

        • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          I don’t know, but if that’s what they’re saying, I call bullshit. Towers has a scouting background, but he’s also a guy who hired Paul DePodesta and, until this March, worked closely with Sandy Alderson, who’s probably the first MLB front office guy to have used sabermetric analysis.

  • jsbrendog

    press conference scene:

    hal: we’d like to introduce the newest member of our team. Mr towers will be the head of cheap pitching everyone else thinks is washe dup or will never amount to anything who will become a staple in our bullpen and then be traded for something at a later date when his next bullpen savior comes in.

  • YankFan

    I would do it. He’s respected in the game & it would be nice for Cash to have someone to bounce ideas of who’s his “equal”.
    As far as not having anyone else to bounce ideas off of, do we know he doesn’t take input from Newman or Opp? Or that there’s not any unknown underlings?

    • Mike HC

      Why do we need an “equal” to Cashman in the front office. There is only ONE GM per team. We have one, Brian Cashman. Adding a bunch of former, failed GM’s to be “equals” is redundant and to our detriment.

      • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        He meant “equal” as in someone on Cash’s level (experience/talent wise), not as if Towers would be a second GM. I’m pretty sure that’s why he put that word in quotation marks.

        Cashman can have experienced assistants beneath him, there is nothing redundant or detrimental about that idea.

        • YankFan

          Correct about the context.

        • YankFan

          Correct about the context.

      • crawdaddie

        He won’t be an equal, but a consultant to Cashman until he gets another GM job.

      • Tom Zig

        why the animosity?

        • Mike HC

          animosity? No animosity. I just don’t like the idea of bringing in too many different voices who all probably think they know best. Many people obviously disagree with me, which is fine, and is quite frankly how I know I’m right most of the time. Just kidding, kinda

  • mryankee

    How much influence in decision making does Joe Girardi have? can he demand the Yankees sign a player and or draft one? I am sure he would not be able to order such a signing but does he have any say>?

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      No, the manager has absolutely no say on what players the team brings in.

      • Tom Zig

        Ozzie Guillen?

      • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

        This post is dripping in snarkasm.

      • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        Sorry Matt, but: Says you. You don’t know if that’s true, and I’d actually be pretty surprised if it was. Girardi is involved in high-level organizational meetings. There’s a hierarchy, for sure, and Cashman makes the decisions. But Girardi surely has some influence.

        Case in point, off the top of my head… Sergio Mitre.

        • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Ok, I’ll go ahead and turn my sarcasm-detector back to the “don’t be a moron, Mondesi” setting.

          (Although, in my defense, I just re-read that exchange and I’m not so sure the snarkasm is so self-evident. But whatever.)

          • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

            Yeah, it was more like me being a giant asshole.

            • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              Welcome to the club.

        • mryankee

          Couldn’t you come up with a better example? lol-I agree though I cannot imagine Girardi having some say on who they Yankees sign and or draft.

      • mryankee

        Maybe Girardi dies not-What about Mike Sciossa from what I gather he essentially runs the Angel’s organization be it draft-F/A. I dont know if he is the only one but why not use your manager as an outlet as well. The players that you consider signing in free agencey the Manager sees up close and personal in games.

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      As a real post, I’m sure the manager is very much involved in the FA signing process, but not much–if at all–during the draft/IFA process.

      • mryankee

        That would depend on the manager I guess as I stated above someone like Sciossa and Girardi who might be more hands on I am sure would want to have say in who the Yankees draft. Managers like Leyland and Torre who are more old school probably would not be as much involved. I suppose it depnds on the personality of the manager and his management style.

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          I think it depends more on the moves themselves. I would expect the manager to be contacted and consulted much more on trades and FA signings because he’s more likely to interact with those players. Players drafted and signed during the IFA period could never even come in contact with the current manager because of their development time.

  • crawdaddie

    Also, don’t forget Billy Eppler who is the Yankees Scouting Director. He’s been talked about as a future GM around baseball circles. Matter of fact, I heard his name mentioned in a recent article maybe by Buster Olney or Ken Rosenthal.

  • mryankee

    I think if you have a chance to bring in good baseball men who can help your farm system, then you do it. Cashman is paid to put not only a chamionship team on the fied but also build a top farm system. If Depodesta and Towers can help and they are available then you do it-ego or fear of osing your job should be last thing on Cashman’s mind.

  • crawdaddie

    Mike,

    You also didn’t mentioned that Cashman brought back Bill Livesey to the organization as a scout and probably as a sounding board for him.

  • steve s

    The Red Sox front office made terrible decisions this past off-season so using them as a model for what the Yanks should do is not the direction to head. Management by commitee seems to me to be right up there with closer by commitee with dysfunction and inertia the likely results.

    • mryankee

      Not management by committee but using more people you trust as advisers. More sets of eyes sees more players. In the end the final decision will be Cashman’s but I see no issue in having more resources to use.

      • Chris

        But there’s nothing that suggests Cashman doesn’t have a lot of input from different people. Just because they don’t have big titles doesn’t mean they’re not giving significant input.

  • cor shep

    Fuck that, bring in Ricciardi. He’s a genius.

  • Steve P

    I think having some other minds would help. I love what Cash has done for this team. He always makes prudent trades midseason and they more often than not work out – see Shawn Chacon from ’05. I will contend what you say about the Red Sox, though. Their free agent signings by and large have been terrible. The best signing they’ve had the last couple of years was JD Drew, but that was only after allegations of tampering. I will concede the fact that the Red Sox have a great draft/minor league operation, especially in developing pitchers. If we could add some of that talent recognition that would add another level of strength to our player decisions – Free Agents, Trades and Draft. Our draft has been mostly strong the last couple of years, but even then there have been real duds and other picks I have not been fans of the first round, like Andrew Brackman. If Towers can help with the draft cause, I’m all for it.

    • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Steve P – This isn’t so much directed at you alone as it is at everyone who’s using this “the Red Sox have made some bad moves so that means it’s bad for a GM to have advisors” argument… That argument is only valid if you think the cause of Boston’s questionable moves is that they have a few people (well-respected people, I might add) advising their GM. And, in my opinion, that argument is indefensible. They’ve made a few bad decisions that were probably not the best moves at the time of the transactions and they’ve also made some moves that were probably decent moves at the time they were made but just didn’t work out. I don’t think a convincing argument can be made that any of those moves were made because their GM has advisors.

      Also… Let’s not go overboard here with the Sox stuff. However much we like giggling about the Lugos and Smoltzes of the world, we’re still talking about a front office that oversees a perennial playoff team, here.

      • Tom Zig

        Taking risks on Penny, Smoltz, Saito, and Baldelli were low risk moves, nothing wrong with that. We just like to make fun of them because some people expected them to provide Type-A free agent production.

        • BG90027

          In isolation, each of those signings was low risk. I don’t think you can characterize devoting four roster spots to guys that you just don’t know what you’ll get from though as low risk. That’s gambling with a significant amount of the roster.

  • Mike Pop

    I’m a fan of this idea, can’t really hurt.

    Towers is known for picking up good pitchers that have been released. That’s the scout in him I would guess.

    Like stated, the more minds the better.

  • http://twitter.com/hopjake Jake H

    I would like this move. I think the reason Cash got rid of those people were they weren’t’ hired by himself. They were the Tampa faction and to get total complete control Cash let them go. I think Cash would hire Towers in a second because of one key reason. He trusts him. I think Towers was a great GM that had terrible owner that ruined his record.

  • Stryker

    the front office is one area i wish the yankees were more apt to change, with organizations like seattle and boston getting ‘smarter’. it always seemed to me that the yankees’ front office was full of suits who only cared about the business/PR side of things rather than pure baseball minds with a knack for talent evaluation. i would hope as the face of the game changes to more of a sabermetric tilt that the yankees would also take on more of this kind of approach. of course, just because we don’t see or hear about it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

    but overall, i’d love it if towers and/or depodesta would come in and be a sort of ‘bench coach’ to cashman. 2 heads are better than 1 in most situations and it surely wouldn’t hurt cash to have a knowledgeable guy to bounce ideas off of.

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  • Brooklyn Ed

    Mike Adams and Luke Gregerson (of course Heath Bell) would be integrating(sp?).