To find the perfect candidate for the job, the Cubs need look no further than the MLB front offices. Kim Ng, the Senior Vice President for Baseball Operations and a longtime assistant GM prior to that, is just the person to turn the Cubs around.
She Brings New Expertise to the Table
In recent years, baseball has moved away from hiring GMs solely on scouting and playing credentials and instead moved toward other areas of expertise. While former players and scouts are still top candidates, people with backgrounds in areas like finance and statistical analysis have also recently been hired.
Ng, however, is an expert in another important area: contract law. Ng was the youngest person ever to present an arbitration case, and one of her prior positions with MLB was as the director of waivers and records for the American League. There are very few people in MLB who understand the ins and outs of player transactions better than Ng, and this could give the Cubs a huge advantage when it comes to free agency and the waiver wire.
She’s Paid Her Dues
Ng has been working in front offices for the past 20 years, which includes 12 years as an assistant general manager. She has also spent the majority of her career in big markets, working in New York and Los Angeles in addition to Chicago. She has worked her way up the MLB ranks via the existing ladder, and the time she has put in makes her one of the most experienced candidates out there.
Other Teams Consider Her a Prime Candidate
In the past, Ng has interviewed for the GM positions in Los Angeles, Seattle and San Diego, and Dodgers GM Ned Colletti thought so highly of her that he made sure she stayed with the organization as an assistant when he beat her out for the position. Another of Ng’s biggest supporters is Brian Cashman, who made her the youngest assistant GM in baseball at the time when she was with the Yankees.
She’s a Local Product
Originally from Indiana, Ng attended college at the University of Chicago and got her start in baseball as a special projects analyst with the White Sox. Ng understands the Midwestern market as well as any candidate, and having a local come home to run the team can only be a positive story.
She is a Trailblazer
Ng is already one of the highest-ranking women in the history of MLB, and she would be the first woman (as well as the first person of Asian heritage) to be a general manager in any of the four major pro sports. I do not consider this to be a direct reason to hire Ng (the Cubs should choose the best candidate, and I consider her the best), but it is a nice side effect.
I have long thought that Kim Ng was a terrific candidate to run a Major League franchise and publicly supported her for the Seattle position three years ago. She remains a quality choice who brings a new expertise to the job, and hiring her would go a long way to bringing the Cubs back to contention.