Former Padres general manager Kevin Towers was in Phoenix again on Tuesday for a round of meetings with Diamondbacks ownership as the club zeroes in on hiring a general manager, according to CBSSports.com sources.
Towers last week met with Arizona president and CEO Derrick Hall, leading many in the industry to believe that, with a second visit this week, the Diamondbacks are moving close to offering Towers the GM job that has been filled by Jerry DiPoto on an interim basis since the club fired Josh Byrnes earlier this summer.
Though the Diamondbacks interviewed five candidates, sources say they've narrowed the final field to Towers and DiPoto, with a decision expected sometime this week.
This is the second dance between the Diamondbacks and Towers, GM of the San Diego Padres for 14 seasons before he was fired last fall by the then-new San Diego ownership group led by Jeff Moorad.
Towers, 48, interviewed with the Diamondbacks back in the fall of 2005 but finished second to Byrnes -- back when Moorad was running the Diamondbacks.
It has long been believed within the industry that the Arizona-Towers match will come down to finances. Towers was making in excess of $1 million annually with the Padres and, with four division titles on his resume in addition to his experience -- he was the longest-tenured GM in the game when the Padres let him go -- he almost certainly would cost Arizona much more than DiPoto.
But the Diamondbacks have been happy with the work of DiPoto, 42, especially when he was steering them through the July 31 trade deadline. In trading Dan Haren for four pitchers from the Angels and then dealing Edwin Jackson to the White Sox for young prospect Daniel Hudson, DiPoto shed nearly $40 million from Arizona's payroll while stockpiling several good, young arms.
"There will be some candidates we'll talk to, with Jerry obviously being at the top of the list," Hall told CBSSports.com last month.
Among the first decisions on the agenda of the new GM will be the fate of interim manager Kirk Gibson and his staff.