Reds GM Nick Krall chatted with Jon Heyman and Josh Lewin on the Big Time Baseball Podcast (audio link), providing some information on the team’s approach to the swiftly approaching trade deadline. He largely echoed the recent comments of his boss, president of baseball operations Dick Williams, but put a slightly different spin on things.
Krall was somewhat less committed to the characterization of the Cincinnati outfit as a buyer. Williams said the club is in the “buyer category,” while also noting that the focus would go beyond the present season. Krall left a bit more wriggle room in the buying characterization and put a bit more emphasis on the longer-term picture. Over the coming weeks, he says, the Reds will “figure out how we want to improve it for the long run … not just for the next two months.”’
That’s not to suggest there’s any internal discord; it’s just added information that helps build out an understanding of the team’s stance. Krall’s phrasing seems to indicate a bit more more hesitancy to push future-oriented chips in when the division picture could change for the worse in a relatively short period of time. It appears he’s inclined to see how things look when the deadline is fully upon us.
“[I]f you can add somebody to bolster your team to help you make a run that would be awesome,” he said. “I think we’d love to do something like that and we’ve gotta just keep figuring out what the deals are and where we stand and keep moving.” While Krall said that “you’d love to be able to buy this year,” he went on to qualify things: “We’ve got a couple more weeks of games before we get to the actual deadline … you want to see if we can get some consistency.”
After wrapping up a win tonight against the division-leading Cubs, the Reds sit at 5.5 games off the pace. They’re not much closer to the Wild Card. It’s sub-optimal, but about as good as could be hoped having reached this stage of the season with a 43-48 record.
Krall suggests that the team believes its roster has performed somewhat better than its results would indicate. The team’s run differential has been in good shape lately, he notes. But the club needs to find a way to “turn those runs into wins.”
One key for the Reds is the play of pending free agent Yasiel Puig, who has been on a welcome tear at the plate. Krall says the sides have not held any discussions about a contract to keep the 28-year-old in Cincinnati beyond the present season. But he seemingly hinted that could be of interest. “He’s been great,” Krall said of Puig, calling the occasionally polarizing performer “a great teammate” and “high-energy guy” for the organization.