The Reds announced this morning that president of baseball operations Dick Williams has resigned from his post in order to “pursue personal interests outside baseball.” He’ll take on a role in his family’s company, North American Properties, per the team’s press release. Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Williams met with owner Bob Castellini in August and informed him that he planned to step away after the 2020 season. General manager Nick Krall will continue to serve in his current role.
The Williams family has been ingrained with the Reds franchise for decades. Williams’ father and uncle are currently minority shareholders with the club, and his grandfather was at one point a partial owner of the franchise as well. Williams joined the team as director of baseball operations back in 2006, when Castellini purchased a majority stake in the team, and he’s steadily climbed the ranks to his current post. Krall, previously an assistant GM, was elevated to GM status in May 2018. He’ll presumably now shift to head up the entire baseball operations department.
“Dick has been an integral part of the Reds’ success from our first days of ownership in 2006 through our Postseason appearance in 2020,” Castellini said in today’s release. “He took the lead on modernizing every aspect of our baseball operations. Dick was the mastermind behind our incredible facility in Goodyear, drove advances in our scouting and player development systems, expanded capacity for analytics and established our sports science departments, just to name a few. … Dick has an incredible baseball IQ, and his gift for innovation came at the right time in history. We are enormously proud of the contributions he has made to this franchise.”
Much of Williams’ tenure as team president was spent in a rebuilding process that was embarked upon as former GM Walt Jocketty transitioned to an advisory role with the team. The Reds’ path to this year’s postseason berth wasn’t exactly straightforward, and it’s fair to point out that some of the biggest trades made during the Williams-led rebuild didn’t bear much in the way of fruit. The Reds were left with little to nothing to show for their trades of Aroldis Chapman, Todd Frazier and Johnny Cueto, for instance, as none of the younger talent acquired in those swaps contributed to this year’s winning club.
At the same time, Williams struck gold in the trade that sent right-hander Dan Straily to Miami and netted the Reds Luis Castillo. Both his decision to buy low on Sonny Gray and the corresponding contract extension look nothing less than brilliant at this point. Despite likely being out of contention in July 2019, the Reds under Williams took a big swing with an eye on 2020 and acquired NL Cy Young candidate Trevor Bauer in a three-team trade with the Reds and Padres. He was also in charge of baseball operations over the winter when the Reds hired president of Driveline Baseball Kyle Boddy to further a strong push into data-driven innovations in the organization’s pitching program.
Recent success notwithstanding, Williams spoke in today’s press release about a desire to spend more time with a young family that he does not see nearly as often as he would like.
“In order todo this job right, you are at a ballpark, either in the major or minor leagues, every single day, night and weekend from mid-February until deep into the fall,” Williams said. “That was a lot to ask of my young family, and they supported m every step of the way. It is time to pour some of that energy back into them.”
“integral part of the Reds success.” What success? Asking for a friend
Maybe revenue has been higher than in generations pass? No idea. Lol just trying to throw that out there
Success, as in the Reds are worth 4 times what they were worth when his father and Castellini purchased the club?
The value of all MLB franchises continue to rise, so no credit to Williams there. Now, a GM can contribute to the rise in value of a specific franchise by making them successful on the field regularly. That, unfortunately for the Reds, is not something Williams can claim.
You can say about every other team
Was going to be shown the door. Honorable way to get out. Use the family line.
Not impossible. Considering the Williams’ family longtime connection to the Reds, including his father and uncle brung board members, seems even likely. They gave him a graceful exit.
It’s kind of a mixed bag, but the trade for Puig, and subsequent swap for Bauer, I found very disappointing. Swapping out two good prospects like Downs & Gray, for expensive pieces like Puig, Kemp & Wood (discounted by Bailey), in a season where you had almost no shot at the playoffs, made no sense.
I mean, if you want to add a bat, sign a mid-range FA. But to trade prospects for one-year veterans is something a WS contender might do, not a team that is looking to rebuild.
There was probably pressure not to rebuild. Many Dodger fans hated that trade at the time. As a believer in Friedman, I loved it. Two prospects whose progress accelerated under Dodgers watch, with one improving enough to be a valued piece in the Betts trade. Reds of course traded Puig for Bauer, who will soon be gone. Odd that the lone remaining player on the Reds is Farmer. With Bauer on the way out, it would be nice if the Reds still had Gray as a prospect, or for that matter Downs. All those years of team control.
How do you know Bauer is gone? He literally tweeted what I just said to someone that said the same thing as you.. look it up lol.
The Reds have a lot of holes. If Bauer wants to get paid and also win, he will want to go elsewhere.
Reds traded trammell for Bauer. Puig was a throw in.
Schellis you are right on!
Gray and Downs have done virtually nothing so far. They are just names on a page. The Reds had several middle infield “top prospects” and needed to thin the herd a bit. The trade looks bad in hindsight because of Wood’s health and Kemp’s revival proving to be a mirage, but It was not a bad deal at the time. I respect them for trying to contend even though you think they had no shot. And Puig was flipped for Bauer and all it cost them was an overrated prospect in Trammell.
Prospects are basically just currency. They are used to improve your team. Some are like savings bonds and should kept through maturity, but many others are like volatile stocks and should be traded before they lose their value.
It was a horrible deal from the start.
Kemp was a DH even if the revival was real. Wood hasn’t ever really been healthy. Puig is a head case.
You don’t trade minor league talent that is high up on your org charts for a group of rental players. Honestly the best player in that deal was the one the Reds gave up in Bailey.
You must not be familiar with trading in Major League Baseball then. Because that is EXACTLY what you do with minor league talent. Some of it anyway. What would have been the point of holding onto Downs, Gray, Shed Long, and all the rest when there is just so many spots available on the big league roster. Sure it’s nice to have 6 years of someone, but if that 6 years is spent on the bench, is it really? The Red signed Moose for 2B which shows exactly how they think of the position. Thy are more concerned with the bat than the glove. Downs and Gray would be bench fodder at best on this team. Not to mention that is is much better to trade these guys early most of them has their value is at its peak instead of waiting until they are out of options and you have a roster crunch in 2-3 years.
Kemp was not a DH, he was an All Star outfielder. Maybe not as good on defense as he once was, but could have been good enough for the small GABP outfield if his bat kept up. With Wood’s talent, if he had been healthy he would have never been traded in the first place. You have to gamble on guys like that. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn’t…just like top prospects. Puig might be a head case, but he is also a very talented baseball player and a phenomenal human being. Just the charity work alone that he did around Cincy in his half season is almost worth a couple of prospects. Not to mention how fun he was to watch play.
But if you think Homer Bailey was the best player in that deal, there is nothing logical I can say to convince otherwise. Have a nice day.
The Reds are a small market team. Teams like that need to be built on the backs of young prospects produced by the system and filled in with FA/trades when they can’t find a player to fill a slot on the team. Its what the A’s and Rays have done for decades to stay competitive without breaking the bank. for decline phase players.
Downs wasn’t blocked at 2B the Reds haven’t really had anyone there since Phillips. This isn’t like the Latos deal where they got a player that put them in a excellent position to compete and cost them players that were completely bocked in Grandal (should have traded Mesoraco instead) and Alonso.
This deal though traded players they Reds needed and could have used to basically get rid of Bailey.
Kemp was coming off a solid year but fell off in the second half that combined with his poor defense and high contract made him a bad trade
though if the deal was Kemp for Bailey that would have been find. Bad contract for bad contract hope change would help.
Puig was a replacement level OF, very good glove, good power but really not much else. Usually you can find players that can provide similar for less cost. Not upset the Reds got him but he’s more name than production.
Wood actually was healthy for most of 2018, but he’s a DL horror show
The biggest issue though is that the Reds dealt a lot of potential for a group of flawed rentals and to get rid of Bailey.
Kemp showed he was basically done
Wood was bad in the limited time he actually wasn’t on the DL
Puig was solid, but nothing special. He was like Bailey. who managed to have a solid back of the rotation season. Also nothing special but of that group of four players I feel Bailey had the best season.
That trade brought nothing of real value to the Reds and it wasn’t really surprising when it didn’t. If they didn’t make that deal perhaps they have the pieces to get Francisco Lindor this past off season..
Bauer trade still would have likely happened since I believe Puig was involved just to balance money.
So if they still had Downs and Gray perhaps they’d have the pieces to get Lindor, and wouldn’t have signed Moose.
Nothing wrong with dealing prospects especially when they are blocked long term at the major league level, but when you move them you need to get more from them than basically getting rid of a player who had worn out his welcome.
Man, those guys shouldn’t have been included in that deal. Nor should that deal have ever been made.
They were eventually going to be traded more than likely but they should have been traded for more than three barely average players. A needed piece with control.
I agree with Schellis
Apparently you missed the 2 years Scooter Gennett was tearing it up at second. Sure he fell off a cliff, but he was really good until he got hurt.
Yes he was and yes I forgot about him but he also wasn’t blocking downs who at best was a 2021 guy
I meant like Alonso with votto. Neither could play anything other than 1b and votto already there for the next decade
I understand your point. My point is that they took a shot at winning and it didn’t work. I would much rather teams take shots at trying to win a couple years earlier than expected than be content to just sit back and collect money from fans while not really trying to win in the present. Downs may end a great player, or he may end up as just another in the long line of guys that “may end up a great player” that didn’t. No one knows what the future holds, not even Fangraphs. But the one thing I know for a fact is that neither Gray nor Downs was going to help the Reds win in 2019 or 2020. Wood, Kemp, and Puig (via Bauer) did help the Reds win some games in both years.
neither Gray nor Downs was going to help the Reds win in 2019 or 2020. Wood, Kemp, and Puig (via Bauer) did help the Reds win some games in both years.
That’s the whole point. No one was going to help the Reds win in 2019. They won 67 games in 2018. They weren’t going from 67 wins to the 89 wins needed to make the playoffs in 2019. So why trade two good prospects to go from very bad to mediocre bad?
Further, Wood, Kemp, Nad Puig did not help the Reds win any games. Their collective bWAR was -0.2. They traded two good prospects, added a lot of expense, and got worse.
Lastly, they were ‘taking a shot at winning’. They weren’t going to win. Very few teams go from 67 wins to the playoffs.
The shame of it, for the Reds’ fans, is that if they held Downs and Gray until this year, when they had a shot, they might have been able to trade those two guys for someone that could’ve put them in 1st, instead of 2nd.
Gray and Downs have done virtually nothing so far. They are just names on a page.
Good. Send me Hunter Greene, who’s done virtually nothing so far, and I will send you Matt Barnes, who has done something.
And, while I agree that prospects are currency, it is still important that the currency gets exchanged for its market value.
Just for example, if Verdugo, Downs & Wong landed Betts & Price, then Gray, Downs & Wong are pretty close to landing Betts & Price.
Or, put another way, the Reds literally gave away two good prospects for literally nothing.
Throw in the horrific chapman trade realistically the reds could have had this lineup in 2020
With a rotation
And salary wouldn’t be as much different
Or put senzel in lf don’t sign shogo and still sign moose.
Votto of course still 1b.
Can you fit the word literally into that sentence just once more?
And since when has Matt Barnes done something? Landing a couple of former All Star outfielders and a starter that was a year removed from being an All Star is a lot different than a mediocre reliever that failed as a starter like Barnes. You aren’t getting 3 former All Stars from ANYONE for less than the price the Reds paid.
Seriously, find any set of three players on the same team that have all been All Stars within the last 5 years and tell me you wouldn’t trade two prospects that weren’t even in the top 100 for them. Downs and Gray were like #6 and #8 in the Reds system. They weren’t even “top prospects.” They were just prospects. It is ridiculous the degree to which prospects get overvalued on this site. It is just mind boggling.
The Chapman deal would not have happened. The Reds were not going to send him to a division rival (or the Indians) and the Cubs likely would not have sent Gleyber to a division rival. The Reds GM said so on live TV. The Cubs have had Lou Brock for Ernie Broglio thrown in their face for 50+ years by Cardinals fans. There is no way they would send a top prospect in division.
And the Reds weren’t exactly holding a lot of leverage when their end of the deal occurred. At the time, no one knew how long Chapman was going to be suspended for. He was speculated to be gone the entire season or much of it. The Reds traded him under duress. The Reds would have been vilified by everyone if they had not traded Chapman and he walked for nothing but a compensation draft pick at the end of the year. The Yankees took advantage of the fact that they didn’t “need” Chapman in order to get him on the cheap. The only reason they got a return as high as they did is because Chapman’s suspension was over and they took advantage of a team desperate to win a World Series.
I feel like the Jeter trade was a less lopsided version of the Cano trade. Could have been a great trade for the Reds but everything went wrong. All of the guys they got tanked and the prospects they traded blossomed.
All of the guys they got tanked and the prospects they traded blossomed.
It turned out worse than it should have, but the trade always had the potential to completely tank. Kemp had a .719 OPS in the 2nd half of 2018, Wood pitched very little in September, and Puig is as erratic as they get.
Thinking about it from the other side of the ledger, if you were the LAD after 2018, who were the players you would most like to get rid of? It had to be Puig, Kemp, and Wood. They combined for $41M. When I first heard of the trade, I assumed it was a complete salary dump. How they managed to get two legitimate prospects out it is just plain crazy.
Prioritized family; always a good call when it comes down to it.
All depends on the family. My wife and daughters, absolutely. My brothers and sisters, not at all.
Interesting. CBS Sports had a story just yesterday about front-office types looking to get out of the baseball business. Some of the reasons cited were long hours, low pay, and the changing face of the industry. A pivotal time for our favorite sport, heightened by the financial challenges in the aftermath of a pandemic that still isn’t over.
Wish I could get me some of that low pay.
That’s what you get for spending your school years looking out the window 🙂
That’s what you get for not being born into an ownership group 🙂
Don’t knock it CH….somebody like schellis had to peer out looking for adolescent serial killers on the school perimeter.
Although surprised by the news i think it will help in the long run if they get an experienced baseball guy in that role assuming Nick Krall doesnt get the job. It will be interesting to follow the Trevor Bauer situation and how other club needs are addressed over the coming months
It will be really interesting considering how some teams are changing their philosophy in regard to starting pitchers. On one hand, you have teams like the Dodgers, Braves, Indians, Rays, and Athletics who are succeeding by emphasizing homegrown SPs with reasonable salaries. On the other, there is the 2019 Nationals model with a pricey trio at the top of the rotation (though Strasburg was both pricey and homegrown). Gotta wonder if the Bauer market changes should the Padres lose Clevinger for 2021. As we’re seeing with pitchers going down in this weird season, you can never have enough starting pitching with the Padres being Exhibit A.
Bob Castellini turns 80 years old next year, when is he bringing championship baseball to town? We Reds fans are still awaiting.
What a dick move.
MT in Baltimore
Wishing him and the Reds Franchise great success in the future.
This is one of MLB’s historic teams. Time for them to rise again.
Step away is what u do when your father in law fires you…
Most essential part of baseball success is creating a winning culture. And that’s something this reds ownership has never accomplished. Talent wise they are there with several teams like cubs cards A’s Indians and more. The reason these teams succeed and reds fail is the team culture. Reds, under this ownership, have no real success yet everytime they hire; it’s an in-house hire that brings the same loosing culture that already exists.
Only way you change that is to bring in winners. Yet they ran Girardi out of town with their unjustified desire to control the team and its culture. Until ownership swallows their pride and acknowledges they don’t know how to win in baseball- whoever they bring in next will just be more of the same.
Well said !!
Yet they ran Girardi out of town with their unjustified desire to control the team and its culture.
Are you talking about Joe Girardi? I don’t think he ever managed or played for the Reds.
He came into town for a 2nd interview before they hired their buddy’s son to manage the team. He left town and removed his own name for the consideration of the job.
FWIW, Girardi did a poor job with the NYY and did another poor job with the Phillies. In addition to a mediocre record, I blame him for Hughes and Joba’s failures. On Hughes, he threw 105 IPs in 2009, and then 191.2 in 2010. He exceeded the +30 IPs by a factor of 3.
On Joba, he was part of the insane decision to continue to pitch Joba every 5th day, but for only 3-4 IPs, to limit his total IPs. As with Hughes, he blew past the +30 rule. But Joba was already toast by September. He had a 8.22 ERA in August, and a 18/15 K/W. He follwed that up in September with a 6.85 ERA and a 18/11 K/W. Instead of limiting his outings to 3-4 innings, they should’ve simply have DL’d him.
Show me a man who wants to spend more time with his family, and I’ll show you a man who was fired.
This should be viewed as a good opportunity to bring in someone from outside the organization, change the culture, and be someone not named Williams. Unfortunately, the biggest issue with teams who haven’t won consistently in quite some time can usually be traced to the owner.
That’s some top level nepotism.
When some of us see a baseball headline with Dick Williams in it we have someone totally different in mind LOL. Oldschool#
This Dick probably won’t end up showing his dick like the old school Dick did.
“In order todo this job right, you are at a ballpark, either in the major or minor leagues, every single day, night and weekend from mid-February until deep into the fall,”
Watching the postseason and players like Acuña, Albies or Tatis Jr. it’s sad to recognize that Reds organization hasn’t been able to develop a single impact prospect into the majors in a long time. Teams like the Padres, Braves or Dodgers will be consistently at the top for years to come.
Teams like the Reds can’t miss with their top picks. You look back at the players they have taken number 1 overall the last say 20 years and its something of a horror show. Since Larkin I think their only “successes” have been Dunn, Bailey, Bruce, and Frazier
I guess Joey Votto and his borderline HOF career is just forgotten. Not to mention the best reliever of the past decade in Aroldis Chapman. But sure let’s just bring up guys like Adam Dunn and Homer Bailey.
I forgot Votto, though he wasn’t a 1st round pick….though neither was Dunn.
Chapman wasn’t drafted, neither was Cueto.
The Reds first round picks since Larkin haven’t been great.
In the past 2010-2018:
That’s not that bad, depending on how Greene develops.
Sure but missing on a top two pick is especially horrible. I’m hoping Greene will be a rare great reds sp prospect and senzel needs to avoid the dl.
Grandal I think was a mistake pick when they already had a young catcher in system
Then there was a string of bust and the less said of the Bowden years the better.
Well no team is ever going to be perfect or anywhere clos to it when it comes to 1st round picks. And you also have to take into account that about a third of all 1st round picks never even make the major leagues. And another third never do much more than get a cup of coffee in the bigs. Only about 10-15% of 1st round picks actually make an impact for any team. Once you accept that fact, you can understand and appreciate the difficulty of the job of baseball GM.
You are also underselling the Reds #1 picks.. Sure the 1990s picks look bad, but even then Pokey Reese and Austin Kearns had solid big league careers. Not superstars, but better careers than most. In the 2000s, the Reds did MUCH better than average. Mesoraco was an All Star. So was Brad Boxberger. So was Todd Frazier. So was Yasmani Grandal. Drew Stubbs had a solid career. So has Yonder Alonso and Mike Leake. More recent picks, Jesse Winker looks like he could break out any moment if he hasn’t already. Philip Ervin made the bigs and had a few moments. Stephenson and Lorenzen have also had moments.
I would LOVE for my Rockies to have had a string of first round picks like that.
I don’t understand what you expect. Do you think every 1st round pick is a failure if they don’t become Hall of Fame players? If so 997 out of 1000 players are going to be failures through your eyes. That’s just a sad way to view things.
I loved Grandal for the RS. He just wasn’t going to fall far enough. This is why MLB should join the 20th century and allow the trading o draft picks.
We need to get whoever is the #2 in Tampa Bay. Boot Krall, Bell (get Council!!) and clearly Zinter.
Tampa is eventually going to run out of guys
BPrice's 77 F-Bombs
Bring me back, and put Bell in the front office. I’ll holler at the stupid beat writers like i did a few years ago.
Don’t knock it CH….somebody like schellis had to peer out looking for adolescent serial killers on the school perimeter.
Reds have lost their Dick
Dumb Dick is gone!! Needed to have been 15 years earlier!!