D-backs not looking for major deals
PHOENIX (AP) - Kevin Towers is usually busy this time of year, wheeling and dealing to add players for a playoff push or shedding salaries for future flexibility.
This season, the Arizona Diamondbacks general manager may be unusually quiet at the trade deadline.
With a roster he built and his team still in the thick of the NL West race, Towers could stand pat for one of the few times during his 16 years as a general manager.
"Makeup-wise, chemistry-wise, I feel very strongly about the guys we have in the clubhouse,'' Towers said. "This year, more strongly than in some of my prior years, and I am not sure how much I want to mess with that. In the long run, I feel that we will persevere and end up on top of this division.''
Towers had a solid trading track record at San Diego, where he pulled off deals that brought players such as Greg Vaughn, Kevin Brown, Mark Kotsay and Heath Bell to the Padres.
His most famous deal came in 2006, when he traded Adam Eaton and Akinori Otsuka to Texas for Adrian Gonzalez and Chris Young.
Towers has been no stranger to dealing in the desert, either.
He traded Mark Reynolds to Baltimore in a 2010 that brought reliever David Hernandez to Arizona.
In 2011, he sent second baseman Kelly Johnson to Toronto for second baseman Aaron Hill and infielder John McDonald.
Towers pulled off his biggest deal as Arizona's GM this past offseason, sending star outfielder Justin Upton and third baseman Chris Johnson to Atlanta for All-Star infielder Martin Prado and pitching prospect Randall Delgado, who has pitched well since being called up from Triple-A Reno.
Towers spent three years building Arizona's roster and likes the way it's put together, despite the inconsistency the Diamondbacks have had this season.
"These guys have been performing well most of the year,'' Towers said. "I like the chemistry of this ballclub. I don't think this is a ballclub that needs a wakeup call. We just need some of the guys to perform a little bit better than they did in the first half.''
Should Towers go shopping at Wednesday's trade deadline, one hole he might try to fill is a left-handed reliever.
Arizona's staff has only one lefty in the bullpen, Tony Sipp, but he's actually been better against right-handers (.203 batting against) than left-handers (.263).
The Diamondbacks are expected to get right-hander Brandon McCarthy off the DL this week and right-hander Trevor Cahill is scheduled to make a rehab start at Triple-A Reno also this week, so they have some depth in the rotation to pull off any potential deals for a reliever.
Arizona also could look to move outfielder Jason Kubel, who's struggled this season (.234 average, five homers), and has quality prospects such as third baseman Matt Davidson and shortstop Chris Owings who are stuck behind players already on the major league roster.
But to give up top prospects, the Diamondbacks will have to get an awful lot in return.
"If we are going to move one of our top guys - not that there are any guarantees - this particular player we are getting back has to make a huge difference in the swing of who wins the division and who doesn't,'' Towers said.
Arizona has been reluctant to include top pitching prospect Archie Bradley in any past deals and isn't likely to move him. Tyler Skaggs, a young left-hander who's pitched in the majors this season, also seems an unlikely piece to any trade.
Still, if the right deal comes along, Towers won't hesitate to go for it.
"I have never had anyone who is untouchable,'' Towers said. "Certain guys are tougher to move than others, but you always have to have an open mind.''