Reds Front Office Changes: Today I’m hearing the Reds have made a significant move in the minor leagues department, demoting director of player development Terry Reynolds to international scouting. Former Mariners GM Bill Bavasi will now run the farm system with a larger role for Freddie Benavides, who is minor leagues infield coordinator.
This is a precursor to a series of moves coming when the organization meets in Goodyear this week. Senior director of scouting Chris Buckley is “being pressured to leave” and GM Walt Jocketty is looking to give more scouting duties to former Pirates GM Cam Bonifay, who is a special assistant.
Meanwhile, some of these moves are money motivated and some are the result of greed and backstabbing. The Reds are so cash strapped they are asking people to accept pay cuts. Perhaps that is why assistant GM Shifty Bob Miller is rumored to be interested in the same job with the Nationals, joining good friend Mike Rizzo, the new Nats GM. However, this move doesn’t make sense because a.) it’s a parallel move and b.) Shifty fancies himself as the future Reds GM.
A team source said the Reds are in "total chaos" in the front office and called Bavasi running the farm system "a joke."
The team source also said the Reds in no way, shape or form have the money to hire pitching coach Dave Duncan from the Cardinals. As reported here at RLD Friday, former Diamondbacks pitching coach Brian Pryce is the leader for the same job with the Reds. But Pryce may not want the job given the uncertainty of manager Dusty Baker's status after 2010. However, the team source said, if there’s any solace to Reds fans, Baker will likely be fired at the end of his contract in 2010 if for no other reason than to free up his $3.5 million annual salary. That money would go a long way toward keeping some of the development structure established by former GM Wayne Krivsky that is starting to produce results.
Remember: Manager and coaching staff salaries are part of the operations budget, not player payroll.
Many fans don't give a hoot about these underpinings in the front office, but ultimately they are critical to the health and success of a franchise. But what we're seeing with Uncle Walt is a lot of old boy baseball cronies being put into high-salaried positions, pushing out younger, established and respected baseball people. And the way the cash-strapped Reds are having to trim operations budget reeks badly of the Schott and Lindner ownerships.