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Longtime Marlins exec Michael Hill hired by MLB

Hill lands on his feet three-plus months after parting ways with Derek Jeter and the Marlins organization.

Miami Marlins News Conference Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Michael Hill has spent his entire professional life in baseball and he won’t be stopping now. The former president of baseball operations for the Marlins was hired by Major League Baseball to serve as senior vice president of on-field operations (first reported by USA Today’s Bob Nightengale).

In this new gig, Hill is being tasked with overseeing umpiring and on-field disciplinary issues at the major league and minor league levels.

A Harvard University alum and former first baseman/outfielder in the Rangers organization, Hill joined the Marlins front office in 2002—at the beginning of the Jeffrey Loria era—and contributed to the franchise’s most recent World Series championship the following year. He succeeded Larry Beinfest as president of baseball ops near the end of the 2013 season.

With Hill as Miami’s top baseball executive, the Fish struggled to a 455-575 record (.442 winning percentage). However, his tenure ended on a high note with an improbable 2020 postseason berth and advancement to the National League Division Series.

Hill’s contract expired after that October run. Despite the 49-year-old’s role in snapping the Marlins’ postseason drought and building a deep farm system, his roots with the Loria regime worked to his detriment—since arriving as CEO, Derek Jeter has consistently sought to “bring in his own people” to revamp all branches of the organization. So although there was (according to multiple reports) a negotiation to bring Hill back, Jeter insisted that he would need to accept a substantial pay cut. Jeter announced Hill’s departure on Oct. 18 once that offer was rebuffed.

Outside of Hill, most of the Marlins’ pre-existing front office has remained intact entering 2021 with the exception of Kim Ng taking over as general manager. She is the first woman and first Asian-American person to hold that position for a major league team.

Soon after Hill became a “free agent,” the Cincinnati, Ohio native was linked to the Reds who had a president of baseball ops vacancy. But they promoted from within. He interviewed for opportunities with the Angels, Mets and Phillies...unsuccessfully.

Although it speaks poorly of baseball’s diversity hiring practices that a Black man with Hill’s qualifications could strike out with each of those teams, the commissioner’s office is a good landing spot for him. Just this winter, Ng and Chris Young (Rangers) transitioned from MLB jobs to becoming GMs, so the door should remain open for Hill to do the same in the near future.