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D-backs extend deals for Towers, Gibson

PHOENIX -- As it turns out, D-backs general manager Kevin Towers and manager Kirk Gibson will not be entering the final years of their contracts in 2014.

The team on Monday announced that it had extended the contracts of both men. The length and financial terms of the extensions were not disclosed.

"We all talked about it, and Gibby and KT said our preference is to keep our contract status in the future in confidence, and I'll respect that," D-backs team president/CEO Derrick Hall said.

Towers, who was hired in September 2010, and Gibson, who took over for A.J. Hinch on July 1 earlier that season, both had contract options that could have been exercised by the organization following the 2013 season, but the team did not elect to do that.

That left both men with just a year left on the deals they signed following Arizona's 2011 National League West championship season.

"When we went into the offseason, I think we had talked about going into this last season as, 'Just perform, and we'll start over and give you a new contract,'" Hall said.

As time went on, though, Hall and managing general partner Ken Kendrick decided it would be better for Towers and Gibson to have some added contractual security.

That's because Hall and Kendrick did not want to continually receive questions about whether Towers and Gibson were on the hot seat, or whether they were approaching their jobs differently because it could be their final year.

The organization also felt the pair deserved extensions.

"If you look at the track record, these are two guys that have not had a losing season," Hall said. "And I think that these guys are as loyal as it gets. They're very hard workers, well prepared. I think it was time to do it before going into Spring Training. In fact, I probably would have preferred to do it sooner."

D-backs pitchers and catchers report to camp on Thursday.

"I'm certainly very excited, as is Gibby," Towers said. "This is a place where we hope we get to spend the rest of our careers ... Great organization, great people to work for, tremendous fan base and I think a ballclub that has a chance to not only win the NL West, but hopefully go deep into the postseason."

Towers said the perceived lame-duck status was probably more of a hindrance to Gibson, as far as dealing with the players in the clubhouse, than it would have been to him.

"But I always look at every year as a GM or manager, and I know Gibby is the same way. Regardless of whether we've got a seven-year deal, a 10-year deal or a one-year deal, our job is to go out and win, and we feel like we're on the hot seat every year," Towers said. "I'm never going to become complacent because of my contract. I put a lot pressure on myself, as well as our baseball operations staff, to get the job done each and every year, and that will never change."

The extensions, though, represent a strong signal from management, and for that Towers is thankful.

"There's only 30 of these jobs, and although they're not easy, it takes confidence from the people up above you to kind of keep steering the ship," Towers said. "We'll make them proud."

Gibson has a 290-279 record with Arizona, including going 34-49 in the second half of the 2010 season.

Towers, meanwhile, retooled the D-backs after taking over for Josh Byrnes and turned a 97-loss team in 2010 into a 94-win team in 2011.

The past two seasons, Arizona has finished 81-81.

By not announcing the length of the extensions, the D-backs could avoid having the pair be looked at as lame ducks in the future.

In fact, Towers does not even plan on letting his baseball operations staff know how long his contract lasts.

"I don't understand, sometimes, why people in management, why their contract is public knowledge," Towers said. "I think it's something people don't need to have. It's between myself, Derrick, Ken and Gibby. This is an agreement between my owner, my CEO, my manager and I."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.
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