Rob Manfred Elected as the New MLB Commissioner

Major League Baseball owners have elected Rob Manfred as the new commissioner to replace Bud Selig next year. This is according to Jon Heyman.

This is a move that pretty much assures MLB will continue to be operated in the same way that it has been under Selig. Bob Nightengale of USA Today had an article on the battle between the commissioner candidates, and had this to say on Manfred:

They argue Manfred is the perfect choice, maintaining the status quo for a sport that’s projected to generate $9 billion this year. They point out Manfred, as head of labor negotiations, is responsible for 19 years of peace with the players union. He helped implement the toughest drug-testing program in American team sports. And he headed the Biogenesis investigation, bringing down Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun and Tony Bosch, among others.

His opponents say baseball owners have the worst labor agreement in pro sports, and the only one without a salary cap. They say the bulk of the credit for the drug agreement goes to the players union for changing its stance. They remember Manfred’s role in MLB approving billionaire Steve Cohen to bid on the Los Angeles Dodgers, a move that nearly blew up on the league when Cohen’s hedge fund plead guilty to insider trading and agreed to pay a $1.2 billion fine. And they still are seething over Manfred’s negotiated deal during the Dodgers’ bankruptcy hearings that permits the team to protect all but $2 billion of their $8.35 billion TV contract from revenue sharing.

If you’re a fan of the Dodgers receiving more per year in their local TV deal than every other team spends in payroll, then you’ll probably like Manfred.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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Scott Kliesen

It’s laughable reading the woe is me posts because of the perception MLB will continue to refuse to “more fairly” socialize the finances of the sport.

On the one hand some complain large market teams have an unfair advantage because of the size of their city and local TV contract, while on the other hand complain MLB is taking away small market teams ability to spend on the draft and International signings. Did you stop to think maybe MLB was being proactive and leveling the playing field in those two areas BEFORE the big bad teams in NY, LA, et al started throwing more money in these areas than the poor Pirates could reasonably afford. Thus being able to gobble up both the best Major league players and prospects, too!

Is it just possible MLB was actually protecting the small market teams with these decisions?


I’d like you to expand on the notion that “MLB was actually protecting the small market teams with these decisions”.

Scott Kliesen

I said MLB was being proactive and leveling the draft and International signing playing field. I never said they are “protecting” small market teams.

I was pointing out the hypocrisy of those who claim MLB only wants large market teams to thrive. They want MLB to equally share all revenues and control expenses w a salary cap, but when MLB does put a cap in place, as they did in these two areas, they complain how it’s unfair to small market teams.


You said it in the form of a question. He took a direct quote from you, and in fact never accused of saying it.

As for the hypocrisy, MLB does “want” all teams to thrive. They hate moving teams. But the hypocrisy from MLB comes from them saying, on one hand, “Look! The system is fair. Teams like

the Pirates, Rays, and A’s are competitive.” while on the other making distinctly easier for a team with big $$ teams to win games. You probably wouldn’t hear the complaints if MLB had done this while also doing a similar thing at big league level, where most income is used.

Now, the correlation between dollars spent and wins has never been lower. But it is still there! It is still true that, in general, having a higher payroll translates into more wins. As such, MLB stacks the deck in favor of teams that can afford the higher payroll. It’s not a guarantee, but when Pirates show up to the Russell Martin Card Table for a game of War with only 15 cards while the Dodgers have the remaining 37, well, I know who I’d figure is going to win that one.

Scott Kliesen

The only “unfair” advantage large market teams have is the ability to sign veteran players, who for the most part are in the 2nd half or later part of their careers. Many of these players are more injury prone, some even get lazy, and some underperform because of higher expectations due to their contract.

If money was truly the unfair advantage you claim it is, why then don’t high payroll teams like the Mets, Blue Jays, Orioles when Peter Angelos owned them, and many many others have success?

I will concede money and brains is the best combination in any endeavor, but given the choice of one or the other, brains beats money all day and twice on Sunday.


Good point. I agree


But you’d agree that the cap on draft signings and spending on the amateur draft is a much different animal than a salary cap, would you not? You can argue that a salary cap is small-market friendly, and you can cerainly argue that taking away the ability to go significantly over-slot with a draft pick is not.

Steve Zielinski

MLB rakes in the money. The best players rake in the money. The incentive for change? For the well-off, there was no need to change anything. What about the fans of the lower revenue teams? MLB and the MLBPA tells them to go pound sand.


As a Pirates fan, let me say that I will NOT pound sand! I’m a salt guy. So you all pound sand if you like. I’ll be over here pounding salt…and they can’t stop me! FREEEEEEDOOOOOOOM!!!

William Wallace

“Don’t cry for me Argentina” PBC has been in bed with the Selig regime when we hired Coonelly and they did not get slammed by the union when their payroll was $12.50. Manfred Mann’s Space Band will continue the good work for the Dodger’s and PBC will get the crumbs.


The Pirates were one of the teams who voted for Manfred from the start. According to ESPN, the Rays, Brewers, Nationals, Diamondbacks, Red Sox, White Sox, Reds, Angels, Athletics and Blue Jays were the teams who voted against him.

Kenny Moore

Guys, Pittsburgh can spend money but they simply refuse to do it. Its a complete joke that this team is to the point where they are chasing playoff spots but the front office refuses to give Huntington the resources he needs to make this team better.

Scott Kliesen

Kenny, I agree there’s money to be spent by ownership. And based on what I’ve read, ownership is willing to spend it but other teams have taken other offers for their players. In FA last winter, the only player they realistically wanted was Loney and made him a fair offer, but he chose to stay in TB.

Now if Martin signs elsewhere this winter on a contract which seems reasonable, and it comes out the Pirates chose not to make a similar deal, than us fans have every right to be upset about the financial restrictions placed on the team. Until then, I will continue to support Nutting and the FO for bringing the Pirates back to relevance.


At least he wasn’t reprimanded for colluding against player, so that is plus.


On a side note. I would like to thank Tim Williams for his exceptional articles on the need for a salary cap in baseball. Keep up the good work tim and please don’t let the argument die. We need your voice.


Very disappointed with MLB today.


Pirates voted for the guy via mlbtraderumors.


The 2nd vote was unanimous wasn’t it?


The 6th ballot he won on with the necessary 23 votes, then everyone cast a 7th ballot which was unanimous which was just symbolic I’m guessing


So in 30 years, we’ll get Manfred’s farewell tour where he gets to tout how well MLB is doing under the 2042 CBA which gives the Red Sox, Dodgers, and Yankees competitive balance picks while the Pirates are fined $500K if they use more than a half-dozen balls per game.


Well there goes whatever small chance baseball had for getting a salary cap. Small market teams better prepare for a royal flush. All I can say to my fellow buccos fans is enjoy this ride while it lasts and hope the lull between contending and rebuilding is only 3-4 years.

Scott Kliesen

Since the Pirates have been contending for the last 3-4 years, I guess by your logic they must be in rebuilding mode next year?


Nah, the pirates have atleast 4 years to contend with the current crop, the main reason I think small markets go in cycles is variable. In other words it could be anything from bad decisions to injuries or a change in philosophy or a change in the rules ect.. anyway the point is that there are a lot of things that can go wrong for a small market team to knock them out of contention for awhile. Granted the same things can and do happen to big money teams, the difference is money. Could the pirates contend for say the next ten years , sure they could, they just can’t make any mistakes and have little to no misfortune happen. Could the dodgers contend for the next ten years sure and they probably will,the difference being anything they do wrong is easily corrected by a large application of money. Anyway that’s my take.

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