MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred Retiring After Contract Expires

Rob Manfred replaced Bud Selig as MLB commissioner in January 2015 and has since been provided three separate contracts by team owners.

The first two were five-year deals, and last July team owners approved a four-year contract extension for Manfred that is due to keep him in the role into January 2029.

“It is an honor to serve the best game in the world and to continue the pursuit of strengthening our sport on and off the field,” Manfred said in a statement at the time.

“This season our players are displaying the most vibrant version of our game, and sports fans are responding in a manner that is great for Major League Baseball’s future. Together, all of us in the game will work toward presenting our sport at its finest and broadening its reach and impact for our loyal fans.”

While speaking with reporters in Florida for Grapefruit League Media Day, Manfred revealed plans to retire once his contract expires in 2029, per David Schoenfield of ESPN:

“You can only have so much fun in one lifetime,” Manfred said to reporters at Grapefruit League media day in Tampa, Florida. “I have been open with [owners] about the fact that this is going to be my last term.”

Prior to being elected MLB commissioner, Manfred served as the league’s chief operating officer. Upon joining MLB full-time in 1998, Manfred was an executive vice president in which he oversaw labor relations, economics and league affairs.

MLB set a record of nearly $11 billion in revenue during the 2023 season, and Manfred is also responsible for introducing the three new rule changes that altered the landscape of the sport.

“At a critical moment in the history of our game, Commissioner Manfred has listened to our fans and worked closely with our players to improve America’s pastime,” Seattle Mariners chairman and managing partner John Stanton said when owners approved Manfred’s new contract.

“Under his leadership, we have been responsive to the fans’ desire for more action and better pace, continued the game’s spirit of innovation, expanded MLB’s role in youth baseball and softball, and beyond. The significant momentum that MLB has built reflects his ongoing initiatives that are advancing the game.”

It’s unclear who is going to replace Manfred as new MLB commissioner. One potential candidate is deputy commissioner Dan Halem, who has been in his current role since 2017.

Rob Manfred’s legacy as MLB commissioner

Manfred is entering his 10th season as MLB commissioner. His tenure can generally be considered a success, but it’s also one that will be defined in part by the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal that rocked baseball.

Manfred later admitted providing Astros players with immunity in exchange for their testimony was not one of his better decisions.

He also was at the helm during the MLB lockout that spawned tense negotiations with the Players Association (MLBPA) that went public and put a stain on the sport until a new collective bargaining agreement was agreed upon.

Success under Manfred’s time as MLB commissioner include navigating the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, fans ultimately taking to the pitch clock and additional pace of play rule changes, increased attendance and postseason field expanding to 12 teams.

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