Rob Manfred says he will retire as MLB commissioner in 2029 after 14 years

Feb 15, 2024, 6:04 PM

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred speaks to the media during a press conference announcing Aaron Judge o...

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred speaks to the media during a press conference announcing Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees as the winner of the 2023 Roberto Clemente Award before Game Three of the World Series between the Texas Rangers and the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on October 30, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

TAMPA, Fla. — Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday he will retire when his current term ends in January 2029.

Speaking at a spring training news conference, Manfred noted he will be 70 years old and will have been commissioner for 14 years when his term ends on Jan. 25, 2029.

“You can only have so much fun in one lifetime,” Manfred said.

Manfred, 65, succeeded Bud Selig in January 2015 and was given a five-year term as baseball’s 10th commissioner.

Owners voted in November 2018 to offer Manfred a new deal through the 2024 season, then voted last July to approve his latest term.

“I have been open with them about the fact that this is going to be my last term,” Manfred said. “I said it to them before the election in July and I’m absolutely committed to that.”

Manfred beat out Boston Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner in the first contested vote for a new commissioner in 46 years. The third candidate, MLB Executive Vice President of Business Tim Brosnan, withdrew just before the start of balloting.

Candidates to succeed Manfred have not publicly emerged. Dan Halem, who joined MLB in 2007 as general counsel for labor, has been deputy commissioner since 2017. He will be 58 in May.

“I’m sure the selection process is going to look like it looked the last time,” Manfred said. “There’ll be a committee of owners that’ll be put together and they’ll identify candidates, an interview process and ultimately someone or a slate of people will be put forward.”

Among the major unresolved issues of Manfred’s tenure are new ballparks for the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays. Oakland received approval from MLB in November to move to Las Vegas, where the A’s hope to build a new ballpark that will open in 2028.

Tampa Bay hopes to construct a new ballpark adjacent to the current Tropicana Field.

“I’m hope that I’m here to go to opening day as commissioner for both Tampa Bay and Las Vegas,” Manfred said.

He does not expect expansion to 32 teams will be completed by 2028.

“I don’t think realistically those clubs would be playing before I’m finished,” Manfred said. “I would like to have the process in place and operating before I go.”

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