Four days after formally confirming he will step down when his current term expires, Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig started the transition process by promoting Rob Manfred to chief operating officer of Major League Baseball on Monday.
The appointment, which takes effect immediately, reorganizes Central Baseball's senior management structure. Manfred will oversee day-to-day operations of the Commissioner's Office in New York, allowing Selig to focus on big-picture policy matters while preparing for retirement on Jan. 24, 2015.
"I have the utmost confidence in Rob to excel at his expanded duties and to help the industry maintain its extraordinary growth and vitality," Selig said in a statement. "Rob has tremendous institutional knowledge and first-hand experience with many of our most complex matters, including labor, revenue sharing, competitive balance and the most comprehensive drug program in American professional sports. I am pleased that I will work with him even more closely in the near future."
Manfred has worked for MLB since 1998. In that time, he has managed all issues related to collective bargaining with the Major League Baseball Players Association, including the successful labor negotiations of 2002, '06 and '11. He has been responsible for major economic initiatives such as revenue sharing, has been intimately involved in baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program and also works with clubs directly on stadium and broadcasting issues.
"I thank Commissioner Selig for placing his faith in me," said Manfred. "The opportunity to serve the clubs in this new position is a distinct honor. I have taken great pride in working closely with the Commissioner and supporting the many outstanding initiatives implemented during his tenure. All of us at Major League Baseball look forward to assisting Commissioner Selig during his transition process in preparation for his retirement."
Prior to joining MLB full-time, Manfred was a partner in the labor and employment law section of the firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, with which he served Baseball as outside counsel. Manfred, 55, is a graduate of Cornell University and Harvard Law School. He and his wife, Colleen, have four children.
Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.