The Cincinnati Reds announced this morning that General Manager Nick Krall will be the head figure of the organization’s baseball operations department. When Dick Williams resigned as the Reds President of Baseball Operations earlier this month, it wasn’t entirely clear if Cincinnati would replace his role in the organization or not. Today we learned that they will not – at least in title.

Nick Krall took over as General Manager of the Reds three years ago when Williams assumed the role as President of Baseball Operations (there was a time when Williams held both titles). He had previously been an assistant General Manager with the Reds, and has been with the organization since 2003.

Here’s the statement put out by the Reds on the announcement:

The Cincinnati Reds today announced that Vice President, General Manager Nick Krall will head the tam’s baseball operations department.

Krall will assume the duties previously held by President of Baseball Operations Dick Williams, who resigned on October 7.

“We are excited for Nick to assume the lead over our baseball operations,” said Reds CEO Bob Castellini. “His hands-on approach as General Manager gives us the opportunity to reinstate that role as the top position in our baseball department and keep the years of hard work that happened under his purview producing stronger, more competitive teams.”

Krall spent 15 years working alongside Williams, including the last 3 seasons as general manager. HE is involved in all aspects of the day-to-day Major League opteraions, including administration, arbitration, contract negotiations, rules and waivers compliance and player acquisitions while overseeing the Reds’ scouting, analytics and player development departments.

The 2021 season will be Krall’s 19th in the organization. He was hired by the Reds in 2003 to oversee the team’s advance scouting preparation. In 2008, he was promoted to Assistant Director of Baseball Operations, a position he held until 2013, when he was promoted to Director of Baseball Operations. In 2014, Krall became Senior Director of Baseball Operations and served in that capacity until he was promoted to Assistant GM in November 2015.

During the 2001 and 2002 seasons, Krall worked for the Oakland Athletics in various departments, including baseball operations. He joined the A’s after an internship with the New Jersey Cardinals of the New York-Penn League.

This move, announcement, whatever you’d like to call it goes back a few years and basically gets back to what used to be the role of the General Manager in baseball. At one point the General Manager was the top baseball decision maker in the organization, and it was that way for a very long time. Only recently have we seen more teams bring on a President of Baseball Operations to oversee things in more of a “long term planning” role, taking away a few of the responsibilities that had long been held by the General Manager.

This move, hopefully, gets Nick Krall a raise. It’s more responsibility, so it should certainly warrant one. But this move also eliminates a high paying position in the front office and by not keeping that job around, it’s saving the Reds some money.

As noted in the press release, by making Nick Krall the top decision maker in the baseball operations department, the team is going to continue along the path that had already been set. Bringing in someone new to replace Williams could have altered the long term plan that had been in place. Not that there is necessarily anything wrong with that – if the plan would have been better, that would have been a good thing. This move, though, keeps whatever the plan was, at least for the most part, in line (it seems unlikely that Krall has wildly different ideas than what Williams had for the organization).

39 Responses

  1. RedsFan11

    I don’t know how to feel about this, feeling disappointed more than anything. Doesn’t seem the Reds did any interviewing based on their comment. If he is the best for the job so be it, but I’d like to think they would have at least interviewed some candidates, entertained some new ideas…

    If I read the above correctly, Krall has been involved in a decently high level of baseball operations with the Reds since 2008. The Reds have done what exactly since 2008?

    • Broseph

      I’m disappointed . I’m quickly losing faith in this organization. Make no mistake, the Reds are saving money and putting yet another “yes man” at the helm.

      If they really wanted to convince the fan base they were trying to win and breathe life into this organization they would’ve looked outside. Who, I don’t care, but anyone but the current regime with GM experience l would’ve been welcomed.

      Krall at the helm, by definition, is insanity,

      • doofus

        Results. Positive results. Winning-type results. That is what is missing from all the seemingly positive moves the Reds make.

        The Reds have a .436 winning percentage under Dick Williams leadership. This is the worst since 1963 of persons that have held a similar position in the organization.

        I believe that Williams implemented a modern approach/structure to the Team’s Baseball Operation, but there have been no tangible positive results except for what Derek Johnson has done with the pitching, in particular the starting pitchers. Alas, the Top 3 have come via trade. No homegrown studs.

        The team kind of goes a little forward, slips sideways, goes backwards, makes a small move forward, takes two steps backwards… Sort of like a nauseating roller coaster ride.

    • doofus

      As usual, Bob is just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

  2. Jon

    So much for trying to “poach” someone from the Rays (or any small-market, smart organization). This is purely a cost-cutting move by the Reds. If they were smart, they’d have fired Krall when Williams quit and hired someone with proven RESULTS. As Broseph wrote above, I, too am losing faith in the Reds and fear they won’t be truly competitive again until Bob Castellini is gone.

    • Frankie Tomatoes

      The Cincinnati Reds are the 2nd smallest market (by how we determine markets) in all of Major League Baseball – only Milwaukee is smaller. And they just made the playoffs and had a winning record. Maybe teams should be trying to poach the Reds people?

      • Jon

        Yes, they made the playoffs. However, when you finish as the #7 seed (out of 15 teams in the NL) with a record one game over .500, it’s hard to be excited. The Reds won the equivalent of 84 games in 2020. With the level of pitching talent and all of the offense they were supposed to have with the signings of Castellanos, Moustakas, and Akiyama, that should be considered a disappointment. Not to mention the fact that two of the guys on their playoff roster went unclaimed on waivers by every other team in baseball after the season ended. Not sure how many of the roster moves were made by Williams and what role Krall played, but something went wrong.

      • Doug Gray

        Cincinnati has the 2nd smallest tv market. I’m not sure we should define “market” entirely by that, though. The Reds are small market no matter how it’s going to be sliced, but to some people it’s going to be about how much you actually do spend and the Reds outspend their “market”.

  3. Jon

    The icing on the cake will be when another team (Cubs? Marlins? Phillies? Angels?) hires the Rays’ VP.

  4. DataDumpster

    I’ll go somewhat counterfactual here and say this is the only logical move. It’s hard to evaluate someone in Nick’s position but there is something good to be said about someone who has worked so many levels of the Reds organization since 2003.
    What outside GM candidate could realistically come in and make much of a difference? The money has been spent, most positions are locked up in long term contracts, the top minor league prospects have been largely traded away, and the direction of the organization has been left to a manager who has shown little ability to win, inspire or manage players effectively.
    So, you keep Nick to preserve whatever continuity is desired and give him the deserved chance to make his mark upon the organization or do nothing but please the ownership. I hope for the former so that he gets his shot to ring the victory bell (with an emphatic small b) and bring something for the fanbase to get excited about before next season.

  5. RojoBenjy

    IF Krall has been held back from doing good moves in the past because of his bosses, then I say let him have his shot. It will be interesting to see if he will deliver a new “manifesto” of sorts outlining any changes in philosophy he may bring.

    If he is just more of the same, the Reds are in trouble, and we fans have reason for hopelessness.

    Only time will tell.

    • Jon

      The first decision he needs to make would be firing the hitting coach. With the historically terrible performance by Reds bats in 2020, it should be obvious.

  6. Charlie Waffles

    Typical Reds move and a very typical Bob Castellini move. Always cutting corners to save a dime on the cheap. But never fret, the savings will go to a new Phil Castellini beer garden. Cheers.

  7. jim walker

    Up in Columbus, the Blue Jackets faced a similar situation about 18 months ago and made the same decision. The primary difference I see is that organization was already clearly established as an annual playoff contender at the time (had qualified 3 consecutive; 4 of 6) and the guy stepping up had played a major role in getting them there. We don’t know that the Reds are at this point of sustainability yet.

    However in the final analysis, the Reds result will probably come down to Nick Krall’s skills and whether the organization gives him a budget along with general instructions of what his goals are then gets out of his way and let him try to succeed at reaching the goals. And by most all accounts, that will be something of a sea change if it happens. Nonetheless, let’s hope it does.

  8. Roger Garrett

    The Reds did what most of us expected and that was just promote from within the Good Ole Boys.Reds got in the play offs,went out quietly by not even scoring and left with an old team that will be back in 2021.Nobody coming in from the outside could make much of a difference unless the organization goes in a different direction then in past years,which was just trying to win a few more then the year before while young players watch older players.The good thing which will be good enough for the organization in 2021 is that the Brewers and Bucs are just awful.The roster is old and full of players that could not start on other teams.Won’t stop me from rooting like crazy for them in 2021 and beyond though.Just crazy I guess but Go Reds.

  9. MK

    I personality like organizations that hire from within. It means hardworking pays off. Anyone not excited about last winter’s off-season moves are being disingenuous. The front office can provide the talent but they can’t make Votto, or Suarez, or Senzel, etc. hit. A lot of people want small ball many of whom wanted a modern analytics approach to the team also. Those two don’t match. Bottom line the front office provided enough talent, the Manager took the analytics approach and the players did not get it done. They have had three hitting coaches in three years so it probably isn’t that. Bottom line they need players to perform.

  10. SultanofSwaff

    Dick Williams, Bryan Price, David Bell………………….all internal hires. Gheesh, is it too much to ask that ownership do their due diligence and conduct a thorough search? No attempt to interview minorities or top talent from other organizations to definitively conclude they have the best man for the job. This billion dollar organization is being run like the local five and dime. Sooo much misplaced hubris.

    • LDS

      Maybe Krall will surprise us and fire David Bell and his staff. Not going to happen but it would at least show he was serious about winning.

      • Doug Gray

        He won’t. He said today they are returning.

      • RojoBenjy

        i don’t think i can stomach any more david bell-managed baseball games.

  11. Jeremy Blothman

    I’m not sure why people are upset about this move. Krall will continue to oversee the vision that about a year ago, the most of us were pretty jazzed up about. Derek Johnson, Kyle Boddy, Driveline etc, the general acceptance and usage of advanced statistics….all of that is something that Krall gets credit for, along with Williams.

    Unless I am missing something or not understanding the announcement, I don’t see where the Reds are saying they won’t hire a GM to replace Krall. Not that it matters because the decisions will still run through Krall but regardless, y’all might get your Mr. Outside Hire to fill the GM spot.

    If anyone realistically thought that the Reds were going to clear house and start over from scratch as a response to the Reds dismal offensive display against the Braves, I hope this announcement serves as a reminder that we as fans, for the most part, agree with the direction the Reds are heading.

    Maybe we don’t like the focus on launch angle, maybe we don’t like a head coach that is going after the all time record for getting thrown out of games, maybe we don’t like trading away potential big leaguers for a year and a half potential cy young award winner, maybe we don’t like every little decision Krall and Williams and ultimately Big Bob have made but overall I think we can agree we as fans are rooting for a team that we are happier with than we were a few years ago.

    Do I have faith any of this will matter and lead to a championship? Of course not. The Reds will never again be a consistent winner for decades at a time unless they move to a bigger city. Realistically, until the Reds can shed Votto’s contract and use that money to overpay for some half decent OL to protect Burrow while we have him on a rookie contract and before he leaves via FA….shoot, forgot which Cincy team I was depressed about…

    Ultimately, I think we can all agree that baseball in general is not as fun of a product to watch that it used to be even just a few years ago. I can’t put my finger on why its not as much fun but its a boring product to watch unless your team is a winner.

    • Doug Gray

      Krall remains the General Manager, so they aren’t planning on replacing him.

      • Charlie Waffles

        And that is the crux of the problem. A set of new eyes from outside to be GM would have helped Krall more than Krall going at it alone in both jobs. That is short sighted to say the least.

    • Redleg Bob

      I can put a finger on it. The National League has turned into the American League, which turned into a softball league. So both leagues are now glorified softball leagues. Playing for the home run and worried about “launch angle”. Ridiculous. Do you ever see anybody steal a base any more? Do you ever see anybody move a runner over? Do you ever see a hit-and-run? Do you see anybody that knows how to lay down a freakin bunt? Do you ever see an at-bat where the result is anything but a home run, a walk, or a strikeout?

      Hope that helps, Jeremy.

  12. reaslist

    It is such a contrast watching the Dodgers and Braves with all of their young talent so many players 22-26 years old making huge contributions. But for every success story there has to be a failure story and that’s what is what we get to watch every year. That and an old washed up Joey Votto, the walk king himself.

  13. TR

    I hoped for something else but it is what it is. Hopefully Nick will have success in his promotion. As an old timer, I’ve always preferred the GM at the top of the organization getting the final decision on major moves from the principal owner. The president of whatever and the GM at the top never made much sense.

  14. John C.

    Not excited about this move, but I am willing to give Krall a chance to be THE guy.

    Its starting to get a little old with the majority of posts here complaining about just about everything. It is always easy to complain about things when they fail. Maybe you don’t remember that there was a good deal of optimism about they moves that were made last year by not just the fans but also the media that didn’t have a rooting interest.

    We made the playoffs and lost to a team that was one win away from the World Series. We all would have liked to still be playing but so would 27 other teams. Let’s hope for a return to the back of these guys baseball cards.

  15. Tom Mitsoff

    Put this announcement in the “what-we-expected” category. The statement when Williams resigned that Castellini would take the opportunity to review the structure of the organization gave us a clue. With the team losing tons of revenue this year, it’s not at all shocking. And, it’s not shocking for Castellini to stick with someone familiar.

    If you’re looking for a positive spin, one of the co-leaders of the upward swing of on-field fortunes in recent years is still in place to hopefully continue the current trajectory. For those who haven’t seen it, Marty Brennaman expressed his great support for the move on Twitter.

    • jim walker

      My hope is that they get somebody from outside the organization to be involved in a regular ongoing way with evaluating/comparing the organization’s baseball operations along side other organizations’ efforts. This person would provide input to Krall and whoever his boss is (which Castellini? do we even know if it is BigBob or COO Phil?). Such an arrangement could turn into the best of both worlds by preserving continuity while allowing the injection of a different point of view.

  16. west larry

    with all the talk of saving a little money by having one person as both g m and head of baseball operations, I guess that means we won’t be spending the 35 million to keep Bauer another year.

  17. Bill J

    Some saying let’s see what Nick can do, that is also a “what we expect”, what BC & cohorts say he can do, nothing more.

  18. redsvol

    I don’t see why this isn’t viewed as a very logical move. Pandemic has changed all the economics of baseball. It makes total sense to promote from within and see what the moves done last winter will provide over “the big 162”. Save the money needed to buy a vp from another club and put it into the product on the field. We haven’t seen what this team can do over a normal season. buy a shortstop, some bench help and some bullpen help and let it roll until june and see what you have.

    • Jon

      So save $2 million? That will buy the Reds another fourth or fifth outfielder or ineffective relief pitcher. Spending two million on a new GM could almost certainly pay for itself many times over if the Reds hired the right guy. Imagine hiring the Rays’ VP. That team is almost always a winner and is back in the World Series for the second time in thirteen seasons with a payroll around $70 million. They’re obviously doing many things right in that organization that the Reds are failing at. First and foremost is in drafting and player development.

    • Jon

      Also, the Reds will already take a massive step backwards going into 2021 if they fail to re-sign Bauer, their staff ace.

      • jim walker

        There will still be a COVID impact on next season. Hopefully there will be an effective vaccine by the January 2021. However, that’s really just a first small step. Getting it widely deployed, confirming it works in the wild (and just how long it grants immunity) is going to take months at least. And a Bauer decision will be taken well in advance of that unless a decision is taken sooner rather than later to delay the start of the season.

  19. GreatRedLegsFan

    Well, that’s not exactly a “bold” move. Fanbase shall expect about the same roster/same results next season

  20. Still a Red

    Look, here’s the deal. The Reds over the last couple years (post Jockety) went, for them, in a bold new direction. They stole the Brewers pitching coach, they stole the Dodgers hitting coach (which everyone was thrilled about at the time). They went head long into analytics, which everyone was clamoring for (albeit, they have a steep learning curve). They’ve organized the organization around those changes. They’ve shown some improvement this year, as weird a year as it was (of course the Reds could have swooned in a 160 game regular season…or they may have continued their late surge???). You lost one of the guys (williams) familiar with the strategy, why toss out the other guy familiar with it, to bring someone from outside who either wants to change it all and start over, or if he doesn’t, then what good is he. I say, see if Krall can move the ball forward.