Commissioner of Baseball Robert D. Manfred, Jr. announced today that Major League Baseball has named longtime baseball operations executive Michael Hill and former All-Star Raul Ibañez as Senior Vice Presidents of On-Field Operations. Hill and Ibañez, who will report to Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Morgan Sword, will serve in key roles overseeing umpiring, discipline and other on-field issues. In addition, MLB has hired former Major League manager Bo Porter and former Major League players Joe Martinez and Rajai Davis to roles in its Baseball Operations Department.
Hill will oversee MLB’s umpiring and on-field discipline at both the Major and Minor league levels. Hill’s 27-year front office career includes 18 years with the Miami Marlins franchise, with seven seasons (2014-2020) as President of Baseball Operations and the previous six as General Manager (2008-2013). In 2020, the Marlins reached the Postseason and won their Wild Card Series vs. the Chicago Cubs. Prior to joining the Marlins ahead of their 2003 World Series Championship season, Hill served as the Director of Player Development for the Colorado Rockies for three seasons. Hill began his career in 1995 in the scouting and player development departments of the expansion Tampa Bay Devil Rays, after playing three seasons in the minor leagues in the systems of the Texas Rangers and the Cincinnati Reds. The Cincinnati native is a 1993 graduate of Harvard, where he was the captain of the Crimson baseball team, as well as a football player.
Ibañez, who most recently served as a Special Assistant with the Los Angeles Dodgers, will work on issues related to rules, equipment and on-field technology. He will also contribute to MLB’s initiatives in scouting and amateur baseball. Ibañez assembled a 19-year career in the Major Leagues, including with the Seattle Mariners (1996-2000, 2004-2008, 2013), the Kansas City Royals (2001-2003, 2014) and the Philadelphia Phillies (2009-2011). The slugger topped 100 RBI in a season four times and batted .272 in his career with 305 home runs and 1,207 RBI. The outfielder was a 2009 National League All-Star with the pennant-winning Phillies, for whom he collected 13 RBI in 15 Postseason games. As a member of the New York Yankees, he pinch-hit a game-tying homer in the ninth inning, and followed up with a game-winning blast in the 12th in Game Three of the 2012 Division Series vs. the Baltimore Orioles.
In addition to Hill and Ibañez, Major League Baseball has further strengthened its group of former players and officials who will tend to on-field matters and serve as liaisons to Major League Clubs, players and umpires.
- Joe Martinez has been named Senior Director of On-Field Strategy, reporting to Vice President of Baseball Economics Reed MacPhail. In his new role, Martinez will coordinate MLB’s management of experimental rule and equipment changes, support the Competition Committee and serve as a liaison to on-field personnel. Before spending five years in the mergers and acquisitions group at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Martinez played in four seasons in the Major Leagues as a pitcher with the San Francisco Giants (2009-2010), the Pittsburgh Pirates (2010), the Arizona Diamondbacks (2012) and the Cleveland Indians (2013). The New Jersey native pitched at Boston College.
- Rajai Davis has been named Senior Director of On-Field Operations, joining Nick Hundley and Gregor Blanco in those roles. Davis will work across a number of areas in the Baseball Operations Department, including playing rule changes, amateur baseball and the mentorship of minority players as they progress through amateur baseball and the minor leagues. Davis assembled a 14-year Major League career, through 2019, as an outfielder with nine different Clubs, including the Oakland Athletics (2008-2010, 2017), the Toronto Blue Jays (2011-2013), the Detroit Tigers (2014-2015) and the Cleveland Indians (2016, 2018). The Connecticut native played in three Postseasons – most memorably, as the center fielder of Cleveland’s American League pennant-winning 2016 team. His two-run home run against the Cubs’ Aroldis Chapman in the eighth inning of Game Seven of the 2016 World Series tied the game at 6-6. Davis hit .262 in his career with 62 homers, 387 RBI and 415 stolen bases.
- Bo Porter has been named a consultant on coaching development. He will assist the Baseball Operations Department in the identification and development of candidates for coaching positions throughout amateur and professional baseball, with a focus on underrepresented groups. Porter spent two seasons as manager of the Houston Astros (2013-2014) and was the youngest manager in the game upon his hiring (age 40). After his collegiate career as an all-Big Ten baseball and football player at the University of Iowa, he played in three seasons as an outfielder with the Chicago Cubs (1999), the Oakland Athletics (2000) and the Texas Rangers (2001). The Newark, New Jersey native has also held Major League coaching roles with the Marlins, the Diamondbacks, the Washington Nationals and the Atlanta Braves. He had been a Nationals broadcaster for MASN and has assisted MLB with its Elite Development Invitational, now known as the Hank Aaron Invitational, which aims to lift high school-age players with diverse backgrounds to the next levels of the game.
Commissioner Manfred said: “We are excited that Mike and Raul, two highly respected figures among their peers, will lead many of our game’s most significant Baseball Operations initiatives. Joe, Rajai and Bo bolster our group of on-field representatives to Clubs, along with Gregor and Nick, and we look forward to their perspectives and contributions to our efforts.”