New Reds GM Williams to work closely with Jocketty in 2016

The Cincinnati Reds promoted Dick Williams to senior vice president and general manager Wednesday.

Former GM Walt Jocketty will retain his position as president of baseball operations while continuing to oversee the department but will step down from that position after the 2016 season and work in an advisory capacity for at least two more years.

Williams, 44, has been with the Reds for 10 years and previously served as vice president and assistant general manager. He’s a University of Virginia graduate who started his career in investment banking. He signed a three-year contract to be GM.

“We thought this was the right time to transition Dick into the position of general manager,” said Jocketty, who was hired as Reds GM in April 2008. “We’ve been kind of grooming him for that position. It made sense to do it now just before the general manager meetings and winter meetings to get him in place where he’ll have even greater involvement with clubs in trade discussions and also with agents regarding free agents.”

Williams has provided support for Jocketty in years past in the financial and administrative aspects of the job, including budgeting and strategic planning for the major league, scouting and player development departments. He has been involved in contract negotiations and player acquisitions and has taken an interest in analytics to assist in scouting and decision making.

“This is really exciting for me, obviously,” Williams said, “but I look at it as a continuation of what we’ve been doing the last few years. I’m thrilled Walt and Bob (Castellini) have seen fit to make this move. I’m looking forward to working closely with Walt this year and learning from him as I have in the past. I’ve got one of the most experienced and successful GMs to work under. It’s been a treat.”

Former Red passes: Former Reds outfielder Eddie Milner died Monday at 60, the Reds announced Wednesday.

Milner, a Columbus native who played two years in college at Central State University, played in 804 games for the Reds between 1980 and 1988. He was a 21st-round selection in the 1976 draft. He was a .253 career hitter with 42 home runs, 145 stolen bases and 195 RBIs.

“I’m so sad about the passing of my great friend and teammate,” former Reds pitcher Tom Hume wrote on Twitter. “A true God fearing man. So committed to the game of baseball. I will miss the big smile he always had. No matter if he was happy or sad, (you) never knew.”

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