Trevor Bauer trade could define Kevin Towers' legacy in Arizona, and not in a good way

USA TODAY Sports

Like Steve Kerr's trade for Shaquille O'Neal, D-backs' GM will look like a genius or an idiot.

Public opinion has been all over the place regarding the trade that the Arizona Diamondbacks made. In trading pitching prospect Trevor Bauer (the team's top draft pick in 2011) for shortstop Didi Gregorius, general manager Kevin Towers is making his biggest move.

All offseason the goal has been to shore up the left side of the infield, particularly at shortstop. This trade is supposed to do this. Only it is rather high-risk.

Yes, the organization seems to have a number of young pitching prospects that are ready to make an impact at the major league level, so Bauer was expendable in a sense. Plus, given the rocky start he had with the organization and with teammates, it looked like he did not quite fit in with how the team likes to do things. and there was that pesky thing known as control that he did not master in 2012.

However, his upside is considered to be a staff ace, a guy that could win you postseason games and land hardware for his mantle at home.

The kid they picked up? While Towers is reminded of Derek Jeter, he is a good defender with an inconsistent bat.

Towers expects Gregorius to compete this year for the starting shortstop job. He might also end up in Triple-A.

While like all trades involving young, unproven players at the major league level, time will tell. Bauer might not turn into anything special, or he could become a star. Gregorius could turn into a utility guy, or might develop into a very good starting shortstop. But the projected ceiling for both is very different. I have not seen any projections about Gregorius that says 'star.' Bauer does have those possible projections.

Remember when Steve Kerr traded Shawn Marion for Shaquille O'Neal when he was general manager of the Suns? He said regarding the trade, "if it works, I'm a genius. If it doesn't, I'm an idiot."

We know how he looks for that trade now.

It's the same thing now for Towers. If Bauer flourishes, Towers looks dumb, especially if their new young infielder is anything less than very good.

What's it going to be? Idiot or genius? Diamondbacks fans hope more for the latter.

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