CINCINNATI -- Just like player movement on the roster, front office comings and goings are a common part of any baseball offseason. But something definitely a bit uncommon has been the departure of two of the longest tenured employees of the Reds' front office. General manager Wayne Krivsky is searching for a new player development director Thursday, one day after Johnny Almaraz left that post and turned in his resignation. Almaraz, also Cincinnati's director of international operations, had spent 17 years in the organization as a player, scout and executive.
"Obviously, it's a big position to fill," Krivsky said Thursday morning. "I don't have a time frame per se. I just want to make sure I do a thorough job of interviewing people and finding the best person." No candidates for the job were immediately revealed. In an interview with the Dayton Daily News this week, Almaraz claimed he had been pushed out of the club's inner circle of decision makers. "I'm not included in any of the discussions and, in fact, when I walked into the suite during the Winter Meetings, Wayne and his people would lower their voices to a whisper or take their discussions into the bedroom," Almaraz told the newspaper. Almaraz's departure came only one week after it was revealed that longtime special assistant to the GM, Larry Barton Jr., retired abruptly this fall after 38 years with the club. Barton also cited to the Dayton Daily News that Krivsky had stopped listening to his advice. Krivsky didn't address specifics of either departure. As for his thoughts on Almaraz, he wanted his statement released by the club to speak for itself. "On behalf of Bob Castellini and the entire Reds organization, I want to thank Johnny Almaraz for his hard work, loyalty and dedication to the Reds for the past 17 years," Krivsky's statement said. "In the 10 months since I've become general manager, I have had the opportunity to work with Johnny and I'm proud of what we have accomplished with our player development system. We enjoyed a successful 2006 Minor League season due in large part to Johnny's direction and leadership." Alamaraz, who was unavailable for comment, also offered pleasantries in his statement released by the Reds. "It's been a great 17 years as part of one of the best organizations in Major League Baseball," Almaraz said. "Over the years, I've developed great relationships with Lois Hudson, Wilma Mann, Gene Bennett and so many others affiliated with the Reds. They will be dearly missed as I pursue other avenues. I'd like to thank Bob Castellini for his kindness and generosity, which my family and I will always appreciate. I'd also like to thank Wayne Krivsky, John Allen and the entire Reds organization and wish them continued success." Both the playing roster and front office have transitioned greatly since Krivsky took over as Reds GM in February, with members of the previous regimes gradually departing. Krivsky has added several of his own people to the front office, including assistant GMs Bob Miller and Scott Nethery, senior amateur scouting director Chris Buckley and professional scouting director J. Harrison. Almaraz was the international scouting director from 2003-05, and interviewed for the GM's job before Krivsky was hired. He was kept on and immediately promoted to player development director, replacing the reassigned Tim Naehring.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.