Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 11/17/11
Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers finished third in major league executive of the year balloting conducted by The Sporting News and released at the GM meetings in Milwaukee earlier this week, but it says here Towers should have won. No disrespect meant to co-winners David Dombrowski of Detroit and Doug Melvin of Milwaukee, who received 13 votes apiece from the 55 front office personnel polled by the magazine while Towers received nine. All three groomed division winners, but Dombrowski and Melvin were operating in a different stratosphere than Towers. Detroit won 95 games while spending about 106 million on player salaries. Milwaukee won 96 games on a budget of about 83 million. The D-backs won 94 games on a budget of about 56 million, and their 29-game about-face was the largest turnaround in the majors. Those who say money is the root of all evil do not have it. Detroit spent 51 million on four players Cy Young winner Justin Verlander, middle-of-the-order bats Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez and closer Jose Valverde (and why did you have to bring up that name, anyway?). Milwaukee added 17.5 million in salary when it acquired Nos. 2-3 rotation members Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum in trades in the winter of 2010. Towers big moves in his first season with the D-backs were signing free agent closer J.J. Putz to a two-year, 10 million deal and dealing away 12.5 million in salary in third baseman Mark Reynolds to add setup man David Hernandez. Towers also recognized the managerial potential of Kirk Gibson, which turned out to be a maybe the best call of all. Towers did as much with less, and for that he deserved to be recognized.
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