Kevin Towers is not returning as general manager of the Padres, according to a major league source. The club will make the announcement on Saturday, when both CEO Jeff Moorad and Towers are to address reporters.
Towers, who is guaranteed well over $1 million next year, has been GM of the Padres since November 1995. On his watch, the club won four National League West titles and an NL pennant.
It's not clear who will replace Towers. But Padres executive Paul DePodesta, a former GM of the Dodgers, is in favor with Moorad and club president Tom Garfinkel, according to sources. DePodesta is likely to survive the front-office purge -- but it's unlikely he'll assume the GM job. His contract has two more years on it, with a salary comparable to that of many GMs.
Towers got a sense he was in trouble two weeks ago, when the club told him it was beginning a search for a new GM.
As of now, Towers doesn't appear likely to move into a GM job before or during the 2010 season. Instead, he's more likely to work as a scout for one of the many GMs that he considers a friend.
The shakeup in San Diego could extend to several baseball officials hired by Towers, including farm system overseer Grady Fuson and scouting director Bill Gayton. It's not expected that Gayton will remain as scouting director, although he might stay within the franchise. Both Fuson and Gayton have a year left on their contracts.
A Padres scout on the rise within the organization is Chris Gwynn, a client of Moorad's when Moorad was a player agent. When Moorad was a Diamondbacks executive, Gwynn was interviewed for the club's director of scouting job.
Moorad hired Garfinkel from the Diamondbacks, but don't look for him to hire another Diamondbacks official into the GM job.