While technically Nick Krall has been the Cincinnati Reds GM for the past few seasons, last year represented the first time that the Redlegs' executive was in charge of the team's baseball operations.
Krall received more responsibility after the unexpected resignation of former president of baseball operations Dick Williams. Krall was the Reds assistant general manager from 2015-2017 and received the promotion to general manager in May of 2018.
Trading for Luis Cessa was Nick Krall's best move as Reds' GM.
Last season, the Cincinnati bullpen was in shambles, but somehow, manager David Bell had his squad competing for a spot in the playoffs with journeymen like Brad Brach and Heath Hembree closing out games.
At the MLB trade deadline, Krall made several shrewd additions to the Reds relief corps, but none was more important than adding former New York Yankees pitcher Luis Cessa. In addition to Cessa, the Reds took on left-hander Justin Wilson and his $5.15M contract the southpaw signed before the 2021 season. Wilson will take home $2.3M in 2022.
That's was small price to pay for two-plus seasons of Luis Cessa. The Mexican reliever is under team control through the 2023 season. According to MLB Trade Rumors, Cessa is estimated to make $1.6M next season. That's a bargain for what the right-hander brings to the table.
Cessa made 29 appearances out of the Yankees bullpen in 2021 and posted a 2.82 ERA and 3.56 FIP. Those numbers got even better in his 24 appearances with the Reds. Cessa put up a 2.05 ERA and 3.13 FIP while working 26.1 innings for Cincinnati last season.
Heading into the offseason, one would assume that Luis Cessa will be a key factor in the Cincinnati Reds bullpen during the 2022 season. With Tejay Antone out for the year following Tommy John surgery, the Reds enter next season with the same combination that couldn't close out games last season; Lucas Sims and Amir Garrett.
While I still believe that Sims has the makeup to be the Reds closer, I have no confidence in AG's ability to be on the mound with the lead in the ninth inning. For the team's sake, I hope I'm wrong. But, if I'm not, I think Cessa is more than up to the task and should be given a few opportunities to try his hand at being the Cincinnati closer.
Nick Krall had more downs than ups in 2021, though a lot of those were due in part to ownership's tight-fisted approach to the team's payroll. But Krall got it right when he hashed out a deal with the Yankees' Brain Cashman and brought Luis Cessa to the Queen City.