Analyzing The Candidates For Next MLB Commissioner

By Jacob Kornhauser
2014 MLB Draft
Getty Images

The MLB has narrowed down their search for the next commissioner of the league to just three people and the owners will vote on Aug. 14 at their quarterly owners meeting. Each of the three candidates has strengths that would make them a strong commissioner candidate, but only one can succeed Bud Selig, who has served as baseball’s commissioner over the past 22 seasons.

In order to be approved as the next commissioner of MLB, a candidate has to earn approval from 23 of 30 teams in the league. Here are the credentials for every candidate hopeful of earning the title of baseball’s commissioner after Selig retires in January.

MLB Chief Operating Officer Rob Manfred

Manfred has been Selig’s right-hand man for some time now and certainly appears to be who Selig would prefer to have succeed him. During his time at the right hand of the commissioner, Manfred has had several successful negotiations with the players. Among those negotiations are three labor agreements without a work stoppage, a drug testing policy with the players association, which was thought to be highly unlikely, and prosecuted the 12 players involved in the Biogenesis scandal last year.

Pros: Manfred is clearly an expert negotiator. If he can keep the major leagues from having a work stoppage during his tenure, that would obviously be a positive. In the end, if he’s helping to improve the conditions of the league and the environment for the players within the league, then he’s doing his job.

Cons: While Manfred has been able to successfully negotiate with players, he may have more trouble with the owners. If he’s voted in, Manfred will have to learn that he works for the owners first and foremost. As long as he can balance the financial interests of the owners with the personal interests of the players, he should be fine. That can often prove difficult to do though.

MLB VP of Business Tim Brosnan

Brosnan has plenty of experience in the business baseball as he’s been dealing with it since the 2000 season. Among other things, Brosnan has overseen licensing, sponsorships and special events for the league. With plenty of business experience, it’s a good bet the owners will give Brosnan a long, hard look when it comes time to vote.

Pros: Brosnan’s history with the business of baseball has to be impressive to the owners. In the end, the league is about making money, and if Brosnan can make the league and teams more money, they’re going to be all for it. With more money, comes more chances at expansion in the majors.

Cons: Brosnan may not be liked by the players if he’s only looking out for business interests. Clearly, he will have to strike a balance between the interests of the owners and the players if he hopes to be successful.

Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner

Werner is actually hated in San Diego for ruining the team between 1990-94 and hasn’t been as successful on the baseball relations sides of things as the other two candidates. However, the fact that he’s been within an organization recently could help in his owner and player relations.

Pros: Being within a major league team recently could help him strike a balance between the players and owners. Because that’s a lot of what he had to deal with, it could be a positive for him.

Cons: His track record isn’t nearly as impressive as the other candidates. The owners may respect that he’s been within a major league team recently, but are also likely to be wary of his record running teams. If he ran the league the same way he ran the Padres, it could be disastrous.

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