Towers committed to Padres for 2006

Towers committed to Padres for 2006

Eager to get to work on shaping the Padres in 2006 alongside club president/CEO Sandy Alderson, Kevin Towers dispelled any notion that uneasiness with his role led to his discussions with the Diamondbacks for their general manager position, filled with the hiring of Josh Byrnes.

"Any perception in the public or national media that I couldn't coexist with Sandy is off base," Towers said. "Our working relationship this year was good -- just as it was always good in the past, prior to him coming to San Diego.

"The only reason I spoke with Arizona was for a possible long-term deal for my family's security, mainly. I'm happy with the Padres, and all my energies will go into making this a better ballclub in 2006."

Towers is signed through 2007, with the club holding an option for 2008.

Towers will attend the Major League general managers' meetings in Indian Wells, Calif., and he will make the rounds. The Padres have a variety of issues to address in what promises to be a busy offseason.

The club's list of potential free agents is plentiful: pitchers Trevor Hoffman, Pedro Astacio, Rudy Seanez and Chris Hammond; outfielder Brian Giles; catcher Ramon Hernandez; third baseman Joe Randa; and first basemen Robert Fick and Mark Sweeney. The team holds options on Akinori Otsuka and Eric Young.

Towers identified retaining Hoffman and Giles as his top priorities.

Veteran infielder Damian Jackson signed a one-year free agent deal with the Nationals. No compensation draft picks will be involved.

With coaches Davey Lopes and Rob Picciolo's contracts not renewed for next season, the front office is interviewing candidates to replace them.

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.