It’s been written about a few times here at the site, but today I wanted to talk about it all specifically. The Cincinnati Reds have been working on remaking, restructuring, and adding to their front office and player development roles in 2018.

The first move came during the season when Dick Williams stepped aside as the General Manager. When the year began he was the President of Baseball Operations and General Manager. In early May, that changed. Nick Krall was promoted from Assistant General Manager to General Manager. Three months later there were more moves in the works. That’s when word started to get out that Director of Player Development Jeff Graupe and Director of Amateur Scouting Chris Buckley were being promoted. Both have moved to roles that were created at the time and didn’t exist previously.

And that just sort of kicked off another month-and-a-half of movement. From the start of the year, to the end of the year, nearly every job has someone new in charge. There’s some selectivity when it comes to minor league jobs listed here, but look at this chart of jobs in the front office and scouting/development.

Looking at that chart, only Sam Grossman is still in the exact same job as he was in March. Dick Williams remains the President of Baseball Operations, but is no longer GM. Everyone else is out of the previous role. All of them, however, are still in the organization. And some of them have been promoted.

Bill Doran and Tony Fossas, who were minor league coordinators, will remain in the organization. Their roles, however, are not known. Fossas’ role as Pitching Coordinator has not been filled yet. The role vacated by Eric Lee, who was promoted, as Director of International Operations also has not been filled at this time.

What’s interesting, is the new roles that have been created. Both Jeff Graupe and Chris Buckley now hold positions that didn’t exist before they took them. Eric Lee took over what used to be the top spot in the farm system as Senior Director of Player Development. But that job is no longer at the top. Now the top is for Shawn Pender as the Vice President, Director of Player Development. That’s three new jobs that have been created in the scouting and player development hierarchy of the organization.

In the spring the Cincinnati Reds brought in former Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell. One of the things he was tasked with was to go through the farm system and look at the players and procedures. This is something the organization has done in the past – it’s not a brand new thing. But because of the guy in charge of doing it, there was some press tuned in for it. Whether or not a lot of these things happened on the minor league level, and in the scouting department are because of his recommendations and reports, we will probably never know.

What we do know, though, is that the Cincinnati Reds took a look around the organization and decided that changes were absolutely needed. There’s been a whole lot of movement in personnel. There have been new hires in some important roles along with internal promotions. But it’s not just these roles, either. The big league manager, pitching coach, and hitting coach have all been replaced, too. And at least in terms of talking, they say they’re going to raise payroll and “get the pitching”. That last part has yet to come to fruition. It certainly seems as though the Reds have decided that the old way they were doing things simply wasn’t working. They’ve invested money in new people, and money in new positions. They’re certainly trying to change things. We’ll have to wait and see if it works.

About The Author

Doug Gray is the owner and operator of this website and has been running it since 2006 in one variation or another. You can follow him on twitter @dougdirt24, or follow the site on Facebook. and Youtube.

Related Posts

18 Responses

  1. Nep O'Tism

    I guess when I see the same guys just shuffled around, it doesn’t quite scream out “positive momentum” to me.

    Maybe the shuffling and the new job titles created will have a positive effect. In that case, I will gladly eat some crow if it means getting to watch winning Reds baseball but I can’t help but think I would feel a lot better if a bunch of these guys were gone and replaced with some FO guys poached from the Astros/Padres/Brewers/Braves.

    Odd that they went the route of grabbing a good pitching coach and good hitting coach from successful teams, and then just settling for shuffling the chairs on the deck of the FO.

    • Seat101

      You remind me of PresidentJohnson’s comment about Senator William Fulbright.

    • Jack

      How is it possible for Hamilton to make through the minor league without learning to bunt. Keep promoting from within your last place finishes show how well that is working.SAD

      • DHud

        You can’t walk up to the plate trying to bunt every single at bat

        Defenses aren’t stupid. If you’ve ever noticed, every 3B in the league plays at about 60 ft when Hamilton is batting

    • DHud

      From my time in management, titles are great, but what truly matters is a clear delineation of tasks, roles, and responsibilities. What exactly is it you do? What are you responsible for? Are two guys doing one job or is one guy doing two jobs?

      I imagine a lot of this type of evaluation and reshuffling going on here. “Here’s a new job and new title to represent you are now responsible for just this aspect of this department”

      • Doug Gray

        While that hasn’t been stated with many of the moves, mostly because there hasn’t been a lot of talk from the Reds about it specifically, they did kind of talk about that with the Nick Krall move. I’m paraphrasing here, but basically, they outlined that Nick was stepping into the role of GM to better focus on certain aspects of things, while Dick was going to be able to focus better on other aspects of the job as President of Baseball Ops.

    • Muddycleats

      Agree, I think the concept is good on paper, but I cant help but wonder if the $$ being spent on extra layers of Mgt or minor league teams couldn’t be better spent on acquiring a better player or 2?

      • Tom

        It’s relatively less expensive to try improving areas like management and scouting and minor league diet and training and another Rookie leage team rather than blowing 4 million on a MLB contract. If everything about the organization is optimized, the results will show on the field.

  2. Gary Clements

    Until they add talented starting pitching via trade and/or free agency and stop drafting 3rd Baseman and learn how to not only identify but to draft and develop Starting Pitching, they are just moving around the same mud with a different mop.

  3. Brad

    I never saw the work “promotion” in any of the Reds press releases. Seem more like re-assignments.

    • Doug Gray

      Krall certainly got a promotion. Same for Lee and Pender.

      I feel like I read something that referred to Graupe and Buckley being promoted – though maybe those words weren’t directly in the Reds releases.

  4. Oldtimer

    When Bob Howsam (best Reds GM ever) came along in 1967, the first changes he made were not trades or firing the manager, etc. Instead he reorganized the Reds front office and scouting department. Those changes were important to the creation of the Big Red Machine in 1970.

    • MK

      I like Howsam and also think he was the best but Bill DeWitt needs to get a little credit for BRM, Rose, Perez, Helms,May, Nolan, Carroll, Woodward and Simpson were his.

      Maybe Fossas and Doran wil join big league coaching staff.

      • Oldtimer

        Carroll and Woodward were acquired in a Howsam trade (1968) with Braves. DeWitt was very good but he made the worst MLB trade (Frank Robinson) of all time.

      • Oldtimer

        PS on DeWitt. He was excellent GM for St Louis Browns (now Baltimore Orioles) too. Also for Detroit Tigers in 1960:

        Clipped … In his 14 months as the Tigers’ president, DeWitt participated in three significant trades with swap-happy Cleveland Indians GM Frank Lane during the 1960 season.

        On April 12, he swung one of the most successful deals in Tiger history, obtaining first baseman Norm Cash, a future star, for little-used infielder Steve Demeter. Cash would win the 1961 AL batting title, play 15 years in Detroit, make four American League All-Star teams, and smash 373 home runs as a Tiger.

        Then, five days later on April 17, DeWitt traded reigning AL batting champion Harvey Kuenn (who hit .353 in 1959) to the Indians for ’59 AL home run king (with 42 homers) Rocky Colavito in a one-for-one deal. Colavito played four seasons in Detroit, and continued to hit the long ball, slugging 139 homers (an average of almost 35 per season). Kuenn, meanwhile, spent only one year in Cleveland before being traded to the National League, and never again hit above .308.

        Finally, on August 3, DeWitt and Lane completed the only trade of managers in MLB annals, when the Tigers’ Jimmy Dykes was dealt for Cleveland’s Joe Gordon. But Gordon only lasted the final eight weeks of the 1960 campaign, going 26–31 with the Tigers before his resignation.