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.