When Dick Williams resigned as the Cincinnati Reds President of Baseball Operations, it wasn’t entirely clear if the organization planned to replace him in the role or if they would just go back to a model where there wasn’t one and with the General Manager being the top baseball-related person in the hierarchy. But before the ink, digital or not, had even dried on the stories that Williams had left, the rumors began to fly about who could take the job next. One name that constantly came up was Michael Hill.

Originally from Cincinnati, Michael Hill was the President of Baseball Operations for the Miami Marlins at the time. But earlier today he and the Marlins “parted ways” according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Hill has been with the Marlins for nearly two decades, joining the organization in 2002 before being promoted to General Manager in 2007 and President of Baseball Operations in 2013 where he has served ever since.

On one hand, you can point to the fact that the Miami Marlins franchise has had one winning season, in 2020, in the last decade. That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement for someone to come in and take over an organization. On the flip side of that is a whole lot, too. The Marlins ownership group rarely tried to win and was constantly trading away any good players they had once those players reached a point where they were set to make any sort of money.

Miami, particularly in the last decade, has done a pretty good job of finding and developing talent. Think about the team of players that they have had to trade away: J.T. Realmuto, Christian Yelich, Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna….. Luis Castillo (they didn’t have to, they chose to – TWICE). And while they didn’t trade him, we should note that they found and developed Jose Fernandez, too. The organization hasn’t been bereft of talent, they just haven’t had the ability to retain any of it.

The biggest thing that’s linked Michael Hill to the Reds is that he’s from Cincinnati. If that makes you feel uneasy, it probably should. The Reds seem to have a thing where simply being from Cincinnati means you are qualified for the job. Hill, however, has a resume that would qualify him for the job. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’s the best candidate, of course. Don’t write him off because he is from Cincinnati, but also hope that his being from Cincinnati has nothing at all to do with why he’s being looked at for the job.

12 Responses

  1. Klugo

    I’ve been amazed at how the Marlins have bounced back to competitiveness as quickly as they have after trading away all those pieces. That, in and of itself, has been impressive, imo.
    I just hope they don’t expand Nick Krall’s role.

  2. jim walker

    Well presented from multiple angles.

    If Dick Williams had a significant shortcoming it was the lack of baseball depth to personally evaluate talent and even more importantly how the various pieces would fit together to create the desired results. Someone like Hill would fill that void.

    But the Reds should take a comprehensive look at the entire field of possibilities before they leap. After today, there will be only 2 teams still active; so, personnel from all the others should be available for vetting.

  3. Charlie Waffles

    Maybe. Luckily we haven’t seen the Reds connected to names like Klentak and Eppler so far.
    I am still hopeful the Reds will make a full frontal assault to go after Tampa’s Erik Neander.

  4. Doc


    The Reds obviously cannot model their business after the Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs, Red Sox, and a few others in the absence of a hard salary cap. That leaves a number of other teams that have shown some degree of success. Though not perennial WS contenders, Tampa Bay, Miami, and probably a few others, maybe Oakland, have had bouts of success on lower payrolls.

    It seems to me that the Reds are currently caught in between. If they err on the higher dollar contracts (Bailey, Votto, Moose, Castellanos, etc), they are stuck for years. If they err on the draft, they at least have two chances to catch up: one chance that a lower draft choice does develop, and the other chance that the next draft could produce positive results.

    Perhaps you could consider an article, or a series of articles, about how these lower payroll teams actually function, and what that sort of model for the Reds would look like, and how they might get from here to there.

    • Corey D

      When you say high dollar contracts do you just mean free agent contracts? I think the Reds are paying market value for those players. When good players reach free agency they cost more money.

  5. Bred

    Honestly, I don’t even know what a President of Baseball Operations does these days. If they do replace him, this guy sounds good or some one from the Rays organization. They have made shrewd trades and have evaluated talent well. They are 70 million dollar WS team and they have been winning 90+ games for the past few years.

  6. Davy13

    I am a bit torn about this. I live in Miami so I have been following the Marlins since their inauguration including the Michael Hill years. Doug, you are right about the multitude of young talent that they drafted and developed who have become all-star, superstar talent, and in some cases, elite (J. Fernandez, Yelich, Stanton). At the same time, Marlins under his presidency had been taken on trades (the Reds did that twice to them). I do not know if that is the result of the ownership tightwad and hampering his abilities to get good returns. So if the Reds ownership open the purse strings a little more and give him freedom to build the team, then as a fan I would lean favorably toward hiring Hill.

  7. GreatRedLegsFan

    Reds shall look for an individual with proven player’s draft & development success. By looking at the 1st round picks within the last 10 years, these are the names and current level: R. Stephenson (40-man roster), Travieso (minors), Lorenzen (40-man roster), Howard (minors), T. Stephenson (40-man roster), Senzel (40-man roster), Greene (minors), India (minors), Lodolo (minors) & Hendrick (minors). I can’t find a name that has had an outstanding performance at MLB level so far with the Reds.

  8. NKR

    Reds gave it to Krall. SMH. predictable i guess. I think the reds need to address how they have dealt with minorities on the field and front office. Its a problem that should should get attention. Not many Blacks, Hispanics, Asians or anything else make it to any prominent positions in front office. Im not talking about special advisor to the assistant positions. Very disappointing.

    Manager position is a good example . They’d rather take white managers with no experience over black or hispanic folks with lots of experience. Decades of examples.

    • TR

      Tony Perez 44 games in 1993. Dusty Baker 2008-2013.

      • Nkr

        Yeah whats your point? Perez only 44 games and baker tookem 3 out of 4 years to the playoffs and got fired after a 90 win season. Theres something wrong there. Hard pressed to find other minority managers that managed reds. You got any in mind?

      • TR

        It’s what it is. That’s the point, Nkr.