GM Towers faces uncertain future

GM Towers faces uncertain future

SAN DIEGO -- The regular season ends on Sunday for the Padres and as far as general manager Kevin Towers knows, he will be back next season.

But Towers, the longest tenured general manager in the Major Leagues, has not been told as much by CEO Jeff Moorad.

"This is where I want to be," Towers told XX 1090, the Padres' flagship station during an interview on Thursday afternoon.

Towers, the Padres' general manager since 1996, will be entering the second year of a two-year extension in 2010, which he signed on Jan. 23, 2008.

There has been speculation that there could be changes on the Padres baseball operations end after the regular season. In July, the Padres fired 13 front office employees, none on the baseball operations side.

"We're continuing our evaluation and assessment of multiple parts of the organization, baseball included," Moorad said in an e-mail on Thursday. "At this point, Kevin is our general manager, and is under contract through the 2010 season."

The Padres have already won 11 more games this season than in 2008 with three games left on the schedule, beginning on Friday when they host the Giants at PETCO Park.

The Padres are 36-23 since July 28 and completed a two-game sweep of the Dodgers on Wednesday at PETCO Park.

The team has survived the trade of 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy and has more or less operated with a payroll of about $26 million for players on the active roster for the past two months.

The Padres opened the season with a payroll of $43 million, down from the $73 million they spent in 2008 as owner John Moores is in the process of selling the team to Moorad and his partners over a five-year period.

Towers has engineered two big trades this season, including the trade on July 31 that sent Peavy and the remaining $56 million on his contract to the White Sox for four pitchers, including Clayton Richard, who tossed seven scoreless innings on Wednesday.

Towers also traded outfielder Scott Hairston, who is arbitration-eligible and looking at a significant raise, for three pitchers, including Ryan Webb and Sean Gallagher, who both figure in the Padres' plans for next season.

"There's no guarantee that we're going to be contending [in 2010], but what I've seen the last two or three months is we have young players who have shown that they belong here and that they are comfortable up here," Towers said this week.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.