12:35pm: The league has announced that both Hill and Ibanez have been named senior vice presidents of on-field operations. Specifically, Hill will oversee umpiring and on-field disciplinary matters at both the major league and minor league level. Ibanez, meanwhile, will focus on issues pertaining to rules, equipment and on-field technology.
Beyond that pairing, the league also has hired former outfielder Rajai Davis as a director of on-field operations, where he’ll share that title with recent retirees Nick Hundley and Gregor Blanco. Davis will focus on rule changes and amateur baseball. Per the league’s announcement, Davis will also focus on “mentorship of minority players as they progress through amateur baseball and the minor leagues.”
Former Astros skipper Bo Porter was also hired by MLB today, the league announced. He’ll serve as a consultant on coaching development — a role in which he will assist with the “identification and development of candidates for coaching positions throughout amateur and professional baseball, with a focus on underrepresented groups.”
12:18pm: SNY’s Andy Martino reports that in addition to Hill, MLB is hiring former big league outfielder Raul Ibanez to work with on-field operations. He’ll also have a VP title, and he’ll bring a more player-focused perspective that the league lost when Young took his post with the Rangers. The 48-year-old Ibanez retired after the 2014 season and enjoyed a very strong 19-year career in the Majors, during which time he hit .272/.335/.465 with 305 home runs. Ibanez had been working as a special assistant with the Dodgers’ front office prior to accepting his new role.
With regard to Hill, Martino indicates that he’d have been a candidate to work in the recently shuffled Mets front office had he not taken this opportunity with the league office.
9:00am: Former Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill will be named Major League Baseball’s senior vice president of on-field operations, reports USA Today’s Bob Nightengale (Twitter link). Hill will step into the role that was vacated by former big league right-hander Chris Young earlier this offseason, when Young was named general manager of the Rangers.
The league has yet to formally announce the move, but a press release is surely forthcoming. Young, during his time with this role, oversaw “the application of playing rules and regulations, on-field standards and discipline, pace of play and other special projects” and drew praise from deputy commissioner Dan Halem for his ability to explain things from the players’ vantage point.
Hill won’t bring the same playing background to the role that Young, a 13-year MLB veteran, brought to the table. However, with more than 20 years of baseball operations experience, he’ll have his own perspectives to offer. (Hill did play a few years of minor league ball after being drafted by the Rangers out of Harvard in 1993 as well.)
The Marlins parted ways with Hill back in October. CEO Derek Jeter said afterward that the two sides had discussed a new contract but ultimately weren’t able to come to terms. Hill’s departure didn’t register as a major surprise, as he was a holdover from the Jeffrey Loria era. It’s common for incoming ownership groups to shake up their front office composition, and the Marlins were no exception. Hill finished out his contract, but Jeter and Bruce Sherman eventually went in a different direction, hiring Kim Ng as their new general manager.
Hill, meanwhile, was reportedly considered for the top baseball operations posts with the Phillies, Angels and the Mets following his departure from Miami. It’s certainly plausible that the 49-year-old will be considered for future front office vacancies, but for the time being, he’ll take on a much different challenge within the league.
Just a heads up that we had a bug over the weekend that made a lot of normal comments go into “pending” status. I’m approving them all now and it shouldn’t happen moving forward.
ya love to see it
Off topic question. Chocolates or Gummies Ex. Gummy bears
Marlins quality to all of baseball. I’m scared.
I know it seems bleak and am easy joke but he operated with what he was given. Now he can do this job with no issues of that piece of garbage Loria or the rebuilding Sherman/Jeter.
This is a role I think he can excell at and I’m very happy he found a job (one that I’m sure pays quite well). He had to hear it from the unhappy Marlins players for years so I’m sure he has some good perspective. I do not think he is a good GM but most likely has some great skills in other locations. I wish him all the best but I’m much happier with Ng at the helm.
I hope Hill brings his experiences with the Marlins and the Rays to all of MLB so we can get a more balanced game throughout.
I surely hope he doesn’t show the incompetence he did here.
That explains why he turned down the Mets gig.
Big fan of Raul’s guitars. I’ve used them almost exclusively for years.
Sounds like you’re an equal baseball and guitar fan.
Hey you’re pretty good what’s your name?
It’s right there on your guitar.
Best beer commercial ever.
I thought Ibanez would make the drastic career change and join up with the guitar (string) maker.
Raul, when he was with the Mariners, threw me a ball from center field. It was a seed. I was maybe 12. I thought he threw it through me. When I realized I caught it, the pain in my hand was awful. Pretty sure I cried.
He’ll be the Mariners skipper one of these days
Always a fan of Rajai Davis. He came from a little town near me here in CT. Had a memorable walk off grand slam vs the A’s when he was with my Tigers. And, it’s so sad his HR vs the Cubbies in the WS didn’t stand up and put him up there with Mazaroski’s as one of the iconic HR’s in baseball history.
Same here. Always root for the New London county guys.
Except maybe Matt Harvey.
And Brad Ausmus (Cheshire) and George Springer (New Britain)
Not New London county, but definitely CT grown BB players.
And who can forget CT’s version of Moonlight Graham, Adam Greenberg?
I’m a Blue Jays fan… I’ve been lucky to see Paul Menhart, Pete Walker, John McDonald, and Dominick Leone play for my guys. Maybe we’ll get Jesse Hahn one of these days.
Yes, John McDonald had a nice little career. He had a brief stint with my Tigers too. Seemed like he was a Jays lifer for the most part.
Wasn’t he the 3baseman victimized by ARod in that “I got it! I got it” infield pop up snafu?
Just another reason to keep Arod out of the HOF….at least, for awhile.
“MLB Names Michael Hill, Raul Ibanez, Rajai Davis, Bo Porter”
I thought their parents would have done that. Seems like an overreach by Manfred.
Good to see Bo Porter, a class act all around, get a chance to stay in the game.
I commented several times that he should have gotten more managerial offers. I guess the owners didn’t read my posts.
Just going on the interviews I saw with Porter; detailed (beyond belief; he’d leave the interviewer confused ) and what looked to be a genuinely nice guy. “Coaching the coaches” just seems to be a perfect job for him.
Ibanez was considered to be a manager in waiting when he was playing here.
Not buying this whole mlb hiring dudes of color to bring more African Americans into baseball. I look at the way fans act towards Trevor bauer & keeping baseball traditional way of thinking that plagues baseball aged viewers. In the mind of blacks I can’t possibly see them wanting to deal with the culture clash of the sport. But its cool that mlb is atleast trying.
Huh? What specifically is your issue?
I don’t know if it’s a good thing or not, but I didn’t even realize all the people that MLB has hired today have been people of color… until you said that. I guess that just goes to show that MLB is more diverse than they think.
I just thought that these have been some really solid hires, so that just goes to show that there are plenty of good, interracial baseball minds that are ready to step into high positions at any moment.
I just never want to see another Kim Ng type situation happen again where even though she was uber-qualified, people turned her down. It wasn’t until she was hired that people looked at her track record and saw a great resume.
I believe that teams (or any workforce for that matter) should interview all kinds of different people that have the specific skill-set necessary for the respective job, and then choose their hire – not based on race – but based on who has the best credentials. Sometimes it will be a 40 y/o white guy, but sometimes it will be the underappreciated Kim Ng.
Sorry for the mini-rant.
I enjoyed reading your comment, her being the first female gm in baseball was super cool.
They’re doing exactly that to increase baseball interest in inner cities. Old fans are going to die off eventually so I’m not sure where you are going. The sport will continue to evolve for better or for worst. No matter how anyone feels about Bauer, he’s one guy and his career will end in the future.
Cap & Crunch
Raul Ibanez was one of the most under rated players in Mlb during his career
In his short time with the Yankees, I’ve always admire how he was always active in and on the top step of the dugout even on days he wasn’t playing.
Am I the only one that dozed off reading that? “Yawn”…