"As our leadership team focuses on achieving our goal of building a championship-level club that has a chance to win its division year in and year out, we will be constantly challenged with hard choices; this was certainly one of them. Making this change now allows us to continue to redefine a new era of Padres baseball while affording Kevin the opportunity to transition into his next baseball challenge."
Towers, 47, was named the club's seventh General Manager on November 17, 1995 and is the longest-tenured GM in club history. Over parts of 14 seasons, the Padres have gone 1,107-1,160 under his guidance, reaching the postseason four times (1996, 98, 2005, 06) and winning the second National League championship in club history during the 1998 campaign.
"He won't be unemployed very long," Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez said Friday night in the Padres clubhouse upon hearing the news.
This might have been one of Towers most successful seasons with the club. He almost totally rebuilt the Padres during the course of the season -- the result being a 36-24 run since July 28.
Only four opening day starters were in the lineup on the night Towers 14-season run ended. Right-hander Kevin Correia is the lone remaining member of the rotation that opened the season and the bullpen was totally made-over by Towers in the final week of spring training and during the season.
During the season, Towers completed two major trades that added seven arms to the Padres system -- including four who finished the season with the Padres.
Not only did the July 31 trade of Jake Peavy to the White Sox bring left-hander Clayton Richard and reliever Adam Russell directly to the Padres, it reduced a $53 million drain on the strapped Padres finances. Earlier, the Padres received three pitchers from Oakland, including Sean Gallagher and Ryan Webb, for outfielder Scott Hairston.
"This throws everything we've done this year into the dumpster," said relief pitcher Mike Adams.