Although the rest of the world might not necessarily agree, Fangraphs' David Laurila went out of his way earlier in the week to remind fans that Arizona Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers is "smarter than the so-called experts."
Towers has been receiving his fair share of criticism from media analysts lately after he traded highly-touted pitching prospect Trevor Bauer and two relievers for a haul of SS Didi Gregorius, 1B Lars Anderson and RP Tony Sipp. But while that return may seem underwhelming to most, Laurila points out that Towers knows what he's doing when it comes to pitchers. Here's an excerpt on the subject from Towers' recent interview with Laurila about how the veteran executive uses his time as a scout to make personnel decisions:
"I think that's probably my greatest strength. I came up in the game as an evaluator, specifically on pitching. I've always felt I was a better evaluator of pitchers than position players, not only as an amateur, but as a major-league executive and as a scouting director. It's always nice to lay your eyes on them. Ideally, it's in person, but if not, at least on video to get an idea of their mechanics. You want the entire picture, so you need to talk to people who have maybe coached the player. The intangibles the players' possess are important. Makeup, character, aptitude. Are they able to apply the instruction that has been conveyed to them? A lot of things all go into the decision-making process."
A quote like that supports the theory that Towers might not have been a fan Bauer's extravagant warm-up routine. Furthermore, Towers very well could have been hinting that he saw something in Bauer that he found concerning towards his long-term prospects in the majors.
Towers goes on to share how he believes that bullpen arms and middle infielders are more important than ever and how he knows that "sometimes you have to overpay" for shortstop talent due to the overall position scarcity.
To read the fantastic interview in its entirety, follow this link.