The Marlins are hiring Astros executive Oz Ocampo as an assistant general manager, reports Jon Morosi of MLB Network.
Although the offseason hasn’t officially begun, Marlins general manager Kim Ng has been busy putting pieces together for non-playing roles. The Fish added Skip Schumaker to the dugout two days ago, replacing Don Mattingly as the manager. Now they will also have Ocampo on staff, bringing him over from Houston.
Ocampo has worn various hats in his career, starting out by acting as a scout for the Cardinals in the Dominican Republic. He then worked in the International Baseball Operations department of Major League Baseball before joining the Astros. He worked in Houston’s international scouting and player development department but left after 2019 to join the Pirates as a special assistant of player personnel. In February of this year, he returned to the Astros’ international scouting department.
At the time of Ocampo rejoining the Astros, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle noted that Framber Valdez, José Urquidy, Luis Garcia and Cristian Javier were all signed during Ocampo’s time with the organization. He adds that Ocampo wanted the Astros to sign Yordan Alvarez, who signed with the Dodgers but was later acquired by Houston in a trade. Baseball scouting departments are large entities that consist of many people, making it difficult to assign credit or blame to a single individual. Still, it’s apparent that Ocampo’s work is respected around the industry and there’s no doubting the fact that the Astros have a strong track record of international player development in recent years.
The Marlins are not an organization that spends at a high level, having not had an Opening Day payroll north of $100MM since 2017, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts. Given that they share a division with four clubs that have shown a much greater spending capacity, it’s very important that the Marlins succeed in terms of acquiring and developing younger and cheaper players. As Morosi notes, the hiring of Ocampo comes at a crucial time, with the Marlins opening a new academy in the Dominican Republic tomorrow.