MLB: Assessing the NL Central GMs at the midway point

Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India (6) turns a double play as Chicago Cubs shortstop Javier Baez (9) slides into second base during the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, July 4, 2021, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.Chicago Cubs At Cincinnati Reds July 4
Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India (6) turns a double play as Chicago Cubs shortstop Javier Baez (9) slides into second base during the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, July 4, 2021, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.Chicago Cubs At Cincinnati Reds July 4 /
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Cincinnati, GM Nick Krall, -3.1 games

Krall’s mid-term rating would look a lot better but for the winter loss of two players to free agency. The impact of Trevor Bauer (+1.7), who walked to Los Angeles, was expected. The impact of veteran Anthony DeSclafani (+1.6), released and then signed by San Francisco for the bargain price of $6 million, has been a legitimate surprise. The net impact of those two losses alone, then, is -3.3 games.

Like Milwaukee, most of Cincinnati’s productivity was in place before Krall began working on 2021. The six most valuable Reds – Wade Miley, Nick Castellanos, Tyler Mahle, Jesse Winker, Trey Antone and Sonny Gray – all are either playing under multi-year contracts or are in pre-free agent status.

Aside from the losses of Bauer and DeSclafani, here’s a synopsis of the most significant of Krall’s personnel moves since the end of the 2020 MLB season.

  • He acquired pitchers Cionel Perez (-0.7) from Houston for a minor leaguer, Michael Perez (-0.8) on waivers from Pittsburgh and Art Warren (+0.5) from Texas. Net impact: -1.0 game.
  • He signed free agent relievers Sean Doolittle (+0.3), Cam Bedrosian (-0.4), Brad Brach (+0.5) and Heath Hembree (-0.1). Net impact: +0.3 games.
  • He promoted five rookies, notably starter Tony Santillan (+0.4) and infielder Jonathan India (+0.2). Net impact of those five callups: +0.7 games.