As many expected, Rob Manfred was selected to be the new commissioner of Major League Baseball on Thursday, following a vote by the league’s 30 owners.
Manfred will take over for the retiring Bud Selig next January.
"I am tremendously honored by the confidence that the owners showed in me today," said Manfred during an introductory press conference at the owners' meetings in Baltimore. "I have very big shoes to fill."
The other two finalists for the job were Tim Brosnan, MLB’s executive VP of business, and Tom Werner, chairman of the Boston Red Sox.
Manfred was widely seen as the most likely choice after getting promoted to COO last September, shortly after Selig announced his intentions to retire. He has been overseeing all the regular functions of the Commissioner’s Office, including labor relations, baseball operations, finance, administration and club governance.
While the selection of Manfred had been expected in numerous circles, the owners did not want the search for a new Commissioner to appear as a coronation of Selig’s handpicked successor. In May, the league’s Executive Council formed a seven-member search committee.
"Rob Manfred was elected because of his dynamic leadership, his passion for the game, his ability to lead the staff in New York – which he has done – and his overall ability to deal with labor issues," said St. Louis Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt. "We're thrilled that Rob is the tenth commissioner."
Prior to being named COO, Manfred served for 15 years as executive VP of labor relations, leading the negotiations that resulted in new collective bargaining agreements in 2002, 2006 and 2011. The current CBA expires following the 2016 season.
Manfred will also take over as the league is locked into its TV contracts with Fox, Turner and ESPN through 2021.