April 23, 2024

Rob Manfred reelected as MLB commissioner, wins new four-year extension through 2028 season

Rob Manfred has won reelection as Major League Baseball’s commissioner and has signed a four-year contract extension that takes him through the 2028 season, the league announced Thursday. This ensures Manfred, 65, will be at the helm for the owners for the next round of collective bargaining during the 2026-27 offseason.

“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. “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.”  

“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 John Stanton, who served as executive council to approve Manfred’s extension, said in a statement. “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.”  

Manfred, who needed only a majority of votes in order to secure reelection, has been MLB’s commissioner since taking over for Bud Selig in 2014. His previous contract ran through January 2025, and this one goes through January 2029. Manfred has previously served terms at a five-year interval with his most recent reelection taking place in 2018. His new contract is one year shorter than his previous two.

Here’s more on the process, again courtesy of The Athletic

Beginning 18 months before the expiration of a commissioner’s term, a majority vote is sufficient to bring a commissioner back, compared to the three-quarters vote required for an extension at other times (or for the election of a new commissioner). That window runs until nine months remain on a commissioner’s contract.

Manfred’s legacy includes it share of highs and lows, but to his credit MLB’s revenues have continued to grow under his guidance. The assortment of new rules introduced this season, meanwhile, have mostly been well-received. The pitch clock, for example, has achieved its desired effect of shaving about 30 minutes off the average length of game.

On the flip side, just last year Manfred oversaw the owner-imposed lockout, which was MLB’s first work stoppage since the 1994-1995 players’ strike. He also recently expressed regret over how he handled the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal — specifically with the decision to give all players involved immunity in return for honest accounts of what happened. Manfred instead punished the manager, general manager and the franchise as a whole through fines, suspensions and draft-pick forfeiture.

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