The Reds announced this morning that baseball operations president Dick Williams has resigned from his post to “pursue personal interests outside of baseball.” According to the team’s press release, he will take on a role in his family’s business, North American Properties. Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Williams met owner Bob Castellini in August and informed him that he was planning to retire after the 2020 season. General manager Nick Krall will continue to serve in his current role.
The Williams family has been rooted in the Reds franchise for decades. Williams’ father and uncle are currently minority shareholders of the club and his grandfather was also a partial owner of the franchise at one point. Williams joined the team as director of baseball operations in 2006 when Castellini acquired a majority stake in the team, and has steadily climbed the rankings until his current post. Krall, formerly a GM assistant, was elevated to GM status in May 2018. Presumably he will now change to head the entire department of baseball operations.
“Dick has been integral to the Reds’ success from our early days of possession in 2006 to our Postseason appearance in 2020,” Castellini said in today’s release. “He took the lead in modernizing every aspect of our baseball operations. Dick was the mastermind behind our incredible facility at Goodyear, spearheaded advances in our player scouting and development systems, expanded analytics capabilities, and established our sports science departments, to name a few. … Dick has an incredible baseball IQ and his gift for innovation has come 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 has been spent on a rebuilding process that began when former GM Walt Jocketty moved into an advisory role with the team. The Reds’ journey to post-season berth this year hasn’t been exactly straightforward, and it’s fair to point out that some of the biggest swaps made during the Williams-led rebuild didn’t bring much in terms of fruit. The Reds have little or nothing left to show for their trades Aroldis Chapman, Todd Frazier is Johnny Cueto, for example, as none of the young talent acquired in those exchanges contributed to this year’s club victory.
At the same time, Williams hit gold in the trade he sent right Dan Straily in Miami and scored the Reds Luis Castillo. Both his decision to buy low Sonny Gray and the corresponding contract extension looks nothing less than brilliant at this point. Despite likely being out of action in July 2019, the Reds under Williams took a big leap with an eye to 2020 and acquired NL candidate Cy Young Trevor Bauer in a three-team exchange with Reds and Padres. He was also in charge of baseball operations during the winter when the Reds hired Driveline Baseball president Kyle Boddy to foster a strong push for data-driven innovations in the organization’s launch program.
Despite recent success, Williams spoke in today’s press release about the desire to spend more time with a young family that he doesn’t see nearly as often as he would like.
“To do this job well, you’re on a baseball field, major or minor leagues, every single day, night and weekend from mid-February through the fall.” Williams said. “It was a lot to ask from my young family and they supported me every step of the way. It’s time to pour some of that energy into them. “