ESPN Insider: D-backs GM Opening Has One Frontrunner

The Arizona Diamondbacks courtship for a new general manager has begun.

Who would have ever believed it would include Kevin Towers, the guy who created the vacancy in the first place.

Such was the case Tuesday night as Towers, chief baseball officer Tony La Russa and former MLB pitcher-turned-agent Dave Stewart took in the D-backs game against the Giants at Chase Field. Stewart is one of seven candidates to interview for the position. The others include Allard Baird, Larry Beinfest, Gary LaRocque, Ray Montgomery, Tim Purpura and De Jon Watson.

According to one baseball insider there’s a distinct leader in the clubhouse.

“I think the job is probably Stew’s to turn down,” ESPN’s Pedro Gomez told Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat in his weekly interview Wednesday morning. “I would highly doubt he would turn it down.”

Towers, who could remain with the organization moving forward in a senior scouting capacity, could serve as a mentor to essentially his replacement and it’s well-known he and Stewart have known one another for several years dating back to their time together in the San Diego Padres organization.

“Really the only person Kevin Towers would stick around for is Dave Stewart,” Gomez explained. “There’s a long history. Stew has lived in San Diego for probably upwards of 20-25 years…my understanding is Kevin Towers would absolutely stick around to help mentor Dave Stewart.”

Stewart doesn’t have any previous general manager experience but was an assistant GM with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Gomez also said Towers and La Russa have grown close working with one another in the back half of this season and there is a deep-rooted mutual respect between the two.

“You’ve got to have people you enjoy working with in order to succeed,” he said. “They’re not going to let each other down. That exists between these three [Stewart included] men.”

The D-backs 2014 season deteriorated quickly thanks to several key pre-season injuries and underperforming players throughout the course of the early summer when they began losing ground quickly to the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West.