2022 MLB front office rankings: The National League Central

Aug 25, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Ben Cherington looks on during batting practice before the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 25, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Ben Cherington looks on during batting practice before the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Nick Krall with Reds manager David Bell.
Nick Krall with Reds manager David Bell. /

Nick Krall, Cincinnati Reds

Impact: -6.7

Division rank: fourth

MLB rank: 22nd

Like the Cubs, the Reds front office approached 2022 as a season of experimentation. A full 62 moves involving MLB talent occupied Krall and his staff, although the Reds had less numerical success than the Cubs. Only 18 of those 62 moves benefitted the Reds in 2022; 40 produced negative impact. If, some day, some of the new faces help turn the franchise around, all will be forgiven. In the interim, however…

Also like the Cubs, Krall focused primarily on his farm system. A total of 17 system products got at least a callup, and some of those callups were significant. Rookie pitchers Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo and Graham Ashcraft made a combined 62 starts and worked 334 innings. Another rookie, Alexis Diaz, was handed the closer’s role and completed 10 saves with a 1.84 ERA in 64 innings. That mound foursome netted a cumulative 5.1 WAA for the cause.

Unfortunately, the other first-year players were less effective, leaving Krall’s farm system no higher than a tie for 18th among the 30 teams in net impact.

Where Krall really took it on the chin was in his dealings with his fellow chief executives. Trades, sales and waiver claims moved 24 players to or from the Reds, yet only six of those transactions helped the Reds; 16 did damage.

No deals were more illustrative of that than the two times Krall’s path intersected with Jerry DiPoto’s in Seattle. In March, Krall sent Eugenio Suarez and Jesse Winker to the Mariners for Justin Dunn, Jake Fraley and a couple of minor leaguers. Dunn and Fraley combined for a -2.3 WAA impact on the Reds, while Winker and Suarez were a virtually neutral -.2 in Seattle.

Then, at the trade deadline, Krall sent his mound ace, Luis Castillo, to Seattle for four rookies. In 11 starts, Castillo was worth a half-game to the Mariners over the final two months.

Collectively, the Reds front office ranked 28th in net trade impact, beating out only the Pirates and Oakland A’s, two other teams that weren’t really trying. The Reds ranked seventh in net free agent impact largely because Nick Castellanos, who they let walk in the fall, had a bad season in Philadelphia.