2019 MLB Season: Rating the NL Central general managers

Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon, team president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer speak Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019 as the team reports to spring training in Mesa, Ariz (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon, team president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer speak Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019 as the team reports to spring training in Mesa, Ariz (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

2019 MLB Season: The NL Central’s best GM

Nick Krall (and Dick Williams), Cincinnati Reds

Krall and Williams might be in the process of re-shaping the Reds into NL Central contenders. In third baseman Eugenio Suarez, outfielder Aristides Aquino, plus pitchers Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray, they have quickly built a small core that might develop long-term durability.

As is clear from their 75-87 record, the Reds still have a long way to go. Having acknowledged that, the 4.9 game improvement they worked on the talent base in the 2019 MLB season represents the best performance by a Reds front office since 2010.

Aquino, who debuted in August and homered in nine of his first 16 games – might eventually be the big find. But that’s no sure thing; following his torrid start he cooled substantially in September, batting just .196 through the season’s final month.

Suarez is the surest of the sure things. In his sixth season, he hit 49 homers and drove across 103 RBIs, establishing himself as a possible future All-Star if Nolan Arenado ever retires.

The January steal of Gray away from the Yankees for nothing more costly than a draft pick may have been the season’s biggest fleecing. Freed from the emotional strain of pitching in front of actual fans, Gray went 11-8 in 31 starts for the Reds with a 2.87 ERA.

Short-term acquisitions: +0.8

Short-term trade losses: +3.3

Short-term free-agent signings: -0.2

Short-term free-agent losses: +1.9

Short-term rookie production: -0.9

Short-term total: +4.9