I decided to compile a nifty spreadsheet of all the trades Kevin Towers has made since 2001. Go ahead – Download san_diego_padres_towers.xls. From this compilation I learned a few things about Towers’s favorite trading partners. He works well with Brian Cashman and the Yankees, albeit on mostly minor deals (5 trades since 2001). Towers also gets along well with Bill Bavasi and the Mariners – they’ve made four trades since 2001. He’s also made plenty of trades with the Red Sox, whether the GM was Mike Port, Theo Epstein, or the College of GMs.
Towers’s only swap with Dave Littlefield of the Pirates took place a year ago, when he acquired Dave Ross. However, you do have to wonder if Towers will simply replicate his move from last year: add Joe Randa. Randa represents only a modest upgrade over the current third basemen, however, and he was lousy with the Padres last year.
Given the Boston connection, Towers could pursue the resurgent Mike Lowell. The 32 year-old makes $9MM this year and another $9MM in ’07, but he is hitting .307/.359/.516 for Boston. Epstein could find catching prospect George Kottaras to his liking – Kottaras is hitting .276/.394/.451 for San Diego’s Double A affiliate. Ben Johnson could be expendable and any team would love to have righty Cesar Carrillo.
Towers acquired Rich Aurilia two years ago, and he could be a useful addition again if acquired from the Reds. Aurilia is slugging .488 on the season. Another low-tier option could be Tony Graffanino of the Royals, who has played 26 games at third this year.
Super long shot: Adrian Beltre. In an April interview with this website, Seattle Post-Intelligencer columnist John Hickey indicated that Beltre could be available if anyone would take a chunk of his contract. And I already mentioned that Towers likes working with Bavasi. On the other hand, Beltre’s been awful this season and the Padres don’t typically trade for huge contracts.
I think Towers will make some sort of move, even if it’s far too late to actually make a difference. I expect something of the Aurilia/Graffanino flavor based on past history.