The Cincinnati Reds appear be expanding the team’s international scouting operations, ostensibly with plans to evaluate talent in Asia.
This morning, the team had two baseball operations job openings listed on the sports industry employment website TeamWorkOnline.com. The job postings, which had been removed from the website when I returned to it this afternoon but have been cached by Google, are for an “area scout, Pacific Rim” and “manager of Pacific Rim scouting.” The Pacific Rim scouting manager job posting remains active as of this evening on another employment website, Glassdoor.com, but the area scout position is listed as “expired.” The jobs were posted five days ago, according to Glassdoor.
The Pacific Rim is a region that extends thousands of miles from the west coast of North America and South America to eastern Asia, Australia and New Zealand. For scouting purposes, the main focus would likely be the baseball hotbeds of Japan and South Korea, along with Taiwan and Australia.
The scouting job description says, “the Cincinnati Reds are seeking an Area Scout, Pacific Rim. This individual will be responsible for identifying and following professional and amateur players of interest from the Pacific Rim.”
The Reds are looking for a scout who is bilingual, has with international baseball experience and lives in or is willing to relocate to the Pacific rim region. He or she must be able to speak and write in a “native language of (a) country in the Pacific region,” the job posting says.
The area scout will report to the manager of Pacific Rim scouting, who “will implement and coordinate all professional and amateur scouting initiatives in the Pacific Rim region.”
The ability to speak a Pacific Rim language and willingness to relocate to the region is not a must for the manager position, but are “strongly preferred.”
Neither job posting mentions specific countries the Reds will be actively scouting in.
The Reds scouting department has seven consultants in Australia, according to the team’s 2016 media guide, but no scouts or consultants in Asia are listed.
While rival clubs have signed stars from Asia’s top professional leagues the past two offseasons, with reliever Seung-hwan Oh and third baseman Jung-ho Kang becoming key players for the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati hasn’t been active in pursuing talent from Nippon Professional Baseball (Japan) or Korea Baseball Organization.
Two years ago, then-General Manager Walt Jocketty said scouting in Japan was too expensive for the Reds. With current GM Dick Williams taking over more control of the front office, perhaps the club’s thinking has changed.
After I contacted the Reds about the team’s international scouting and plans to be active in the market for players from Asia, Reds Director of Media Relations Rob Butcher responded, “We aren’t commenting on our job search or plans in that arena.”