CINCINNATI – Nick Krall already was an integral part of the Cincinnati Reds organization for more than 16 years and a respected voice in decisions made at all levels. On Thursday, Krall was handed more responsibility when he was promoted to general manager.
"Increasing his authority within the organization will help expedite the implementation of the changes being made throughout our entire system," said Reds president of baseball operations Dick Williams.”
There is a climate of collaboration in baseball operations departments throughout baseball, and the Reds are no different.
It will take the full breadth of mental resources to help the Reds end a streak of three straight 90-plus loss seasons and climb out of the hole they’ve dug themselves during the first six weeks of this campaign which saw manager Bryan Price fired before the end of April.
“We’ve been through some ups and downs,” Krall said via conference call on Thursday. “I’m looking forward to getting back very shortly to the ups. I really love this organization and the people in this organization. I believe we’re headed in the right track. I’m excited for the opportunity to do more.”
There isn’t much Krall hasn’t done during his baseball career.
During the 2001 and 2002 seasons, he worked for the Oakland Athletics in various capacities, including baseball operations. He joined the A's after an internship with the New Jersey Cardinals of the New York-Penn League.
Krall was hired by the Reds in 2003 to oversee the team’s advance scouting efforts and by 2014, he had been promoted to senior assistant director of baseball operations and then to assistant GM two years later.
In his role as assistant GM, Krall assisted Williams with all day-to-day major-league operations, including administration, arbitration, contract negotiations, rules and waiver compliance and player acquisition. Krall also works closely with the analytics and player development teams.
Williams said the Reds’ day-to-day operations won’t change much following Krall’s promotion, but he will be able to put more on Krall’s plate, something he is confident he’ll be able to handle.
“It’s the same workload, we just want to be able to do more,” Williams said. “We have a lot of internal projects we want to focus on. We work as a group. We collaborate on just about everything. It’s easy to pass the baton around here and get things done. I do see an increase in workload this year in what we want to accomplish and the speed at which we want to accomplish it.”
It’s an organization model that has become more popular throughout baseball in recent years where the GM doesn’t necessarily reside at the top of the organizational chart in baseball operations.
The Chicago Cubs are a prime example with Theo Epstein serving president of baseball operations and Jed Hoyer as GM with three assistant GMs under him. Like Hoyer with Epstein, Krall has been Williams’ right-hand man.
"Nick will be more heavily involved in the decisions we need to make to improve our product on the field at both the major league and minor league levels," Williams said.
Krall’s promotion comes during a hectic time at 100 Joe Nuxhall Way, with about three weeks left before Major League Baseball’s amateur draft which takes place on June 4.
The Reds have the fifth overall selection in the first round and three picks through the first two rounds. Prior to his promotion to GM, Krall already had worked closely with the Reds’ amateur scouting and professional scouting departments.
Williams will remain on as Reds president of baseball operations after assuming that role following the 2016 season when Walt Jocketty stepped down to take over as an executive advisor to club CEO Bob Castellini. Jocketty held the position of Reds president of baseball operations and GM from 2008 to 2016.
“I wouldn’t say I’m taking over (as GM),” Krall said. “It’s a collaborative process. I’ll have an increased responsibility in getting things done and working with all departments. I appreciate the opportunity the Reds are giving me. I look forward to helping us realize our goals.”