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.