MLB reporter reveals 4 top candidates to replace Rob Manfred as commissioner

Author:
Sportsnaut

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred has held the job since 2015, taking over for Bud Selig after previously serving as the league’s chief operating officer. under his predecessor. With Manfred planning to retire, there already appear to be leading candidates to replace him as MLB commissioner.

MLB owners have been very pleased with Manfred’s work as the commissioner, as he has both overseen the rise of annual revenue each year and helped the teams during disputes with the MLB Players Association. However, once his five-year contract expires in January 2029, Manfred will be leaving his position.

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As with other top professional sports leagues, candidates to become the next commissioner are scrutinized and monitored years in advance. Manfred joined MLB in 1987, working his way up from serving as outside counsel for team owners to then becoming Executive Vice President of Economics and League Affairs in 1998. As he climbed the executive ladder, he learned from Selig and built strong relationships with owners.

Now, many of his top executives are doing the same as the evaluation process to find his replacement is underway. While a final decision on Manfred’s successor is years away, there are reportedly a few leading candidates to succeed him.

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Who will replace Rob Manfred?

According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, vice president of business operations Morgan Sword, deputy commissioners Dan Halem and Noah Garden along with chief operations and strategy officer Chris Marinek are the leading candidates to become the next MLB commissioner in 2029.

Garden, who has worked in MLB for more than two decades, was promoted to deputy commissioner this offseason. The 52-year-old was hired by MLB Advanced Media in 2021 and has steadily earned promotions ever since, becoming the league’s vice president of commerce in December 2017 and then chief revenue officer in August 2020.

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Halem joined MLB in 2007 and became the chief labor negotiator for team owners in 2014, a title that originally was held by Manfred. The executive’s career path is nearly identical to Manfred’s rise up the ranks, which has led many to think he will be the choice.

Sword, age 39, is one of the youngest high-rankings executives in MLB. He is focused on on-field matters and has been very influential in various rule changes made in recent years to both speed up the game and crack down on the usage of sticky substances by pitchers.

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Marinek joined MLB in 2008 and reports directly to Manfred. In his official role, as described by MLB.com, Marinek is responsible for overseeing apps and technology like Statcast, MLB.com and MLB.TV. He is also responsible for ticket operations.

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