The Arizona Diamondbacks fired general manager Kevin Towers on Friday.
"Over the past three months, I have had the opportunity to evaluate all aspects of our baseball operations and have decided to restructure our staff in order to improve our decision-making process," Tony La Russa, who was hired earlier this season as the team's chief baseball officer, said in a statement. "I have the utmost respect for Kevin and a friendship with him that dates back many years which has allowed me to appreciate his talents and experience."
The team said that Towers has been offered a new position in the front office and is evaluating the opportunity.
"I believe his skills fit well within the framework of what we are building," said La Russa, who will start interviewing for the new GM immediately. "Understandably, he would like to see who the general manager is before making his own decision.
"We are extremely grateful for all that he has done for the D-backs during his four-plus years here, particularly given that he has always put the organization ahead of his own self-interests. That tells you all you need to know about him as a person."
Towers, 52, had been the team's general manager since September 2010. Arizona has baseball's third-worst record at 59-81 and 19 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West entering Friday despite a franchise-record $112.3 million payroll.
The D-Backs are 315-311 (.503) under Towers but have not made the postseason or finished over .500 since winning the NL West in 2010.
Before joining the Diamondbacks, Towers served as GM of the San Diego Padres from 1995 to 2009.
In May, the Diamondbacks hired La Russa to the newly created position of chief baseball officer to oversee Towers and the baseball operations department.
At the time of the hiring, managing general partner Ken Kendrick and team president Derrick Hall said that it would be up to La Russa to decide the futures of Towers and manager Kirk Gibson.
Following the 2013 season, the D-backs elected not to pick up the 2015 contract options on Towers and Gibson. But just before spring training opened, the team signed the pair to extensions of unspecified lengths.