Marlins hire Kim Ng
Friday was a big day around baseball as the Marlins made a historic hire to fill their GM opening, bringing in Kim Ng to head up their baseball operations department. She becomes not only the first woman to be a GM in baseball, but in all of American sports. Let’s not get this twisted, though. This was not a hire made for publicity or for any other reason besides her being extremely qualified for the job. In fact, there is an argument to be made — and some have certainly made it — that she is actually one of the most qualified GMs to ever be hired.
Ng has been in the game for longer than I’ve been alive, first getting into baseball in 1990 as an intern for the White Sox. Later in the decade, she was hired by the Yankees to work under Brian Cashman as the team’s assistant GM. Just 29 years old at the time, she was the youngest person at her position in the league. She has also held that position with the Dodgers. She’s long been seen as a GM candidate, first interviewing for an open position with the Dodgers in 2005 and getting many more interviews since then. She’s been working in the league office most recently. It’s been a long time coming, but it’s more than deserved.
It’s also a good organization to join at this point with the team certainly trending in the right direction. The payroll restrictions are always going to be an issue in Miami, but this new ownership group could theoretically at least be a little bit better in that respect. The Marlins were a surprise postseason team this year, and while much of that can be attributed to both the expanded field and the shortened season, they are on the rise with a lot of young talent. That’s going to be an interesting division to watch for the next few years, and with Ng at the head of Miami’s baseball operations they should be right in the thick of things.
Hae-Seong Kim to be posted after Thanksgiving
One of the bigger free agents to hit the market this winter is going to be KBO star shortstop Hae-Seong Kim, and it was reported on Friday that he would likely be posted by his current team, the the Kiwoon Heroes, shortly after the Thanksgiving break. Kim, who just turned 25 last month, has been a star in the KBO for years now and is coming off his best season, hitting .306/.397/.523. MLB Trade Rumors has him ranked as the seventh best free agent in this winter’s class and projects him to garner a five-year deal worth $40 million. That does not include the posting fee, which comes in a bit over $7 million.
The market for Kim is expected to be large with just about every team in the league having an argument to be involved. Given his relative youth, he can basically fit into any organization’s timeline. He has tremendous tools, coming off a season with more walks than strikeouts to go with 30 homers. There is always a question as to how players coming from overseas leagues will adjust to major-league hitting, but by all accounts scouts are confident in this skillset. Defensively, he is a good shortstop though he is seen as a possibility at any infield position.
That last part is good news for the Red Sox, who obviously need some help at second base. I’m not sure how likely they are to actually land Kim, because as I said there is going to be a ton of competition for his services. That said, Boston has money, they have the draw of being a marquee franchise, they have the lineup spot to offer, and his age fits pretty much perfectly with their plans, so they should be right in the thick of things.