It wasn’t easy, but today the owners of MLB’s 30 teams unanimously elected Rob Manfred as the 10th commissioner in baseball history. He’ll replace Bud Selig, who will retire in January of 2015.
Manfred’s election was announced by Cardinals chairman and CEO Bill DeWitt, Jr., who served as the chairman of the succession committee. You can watch video of the press conference below, complete with comments from Manfred:
MLB has also issued a press release. Below are statements from DeWitt and commissioner Selig:
DeWitt said: “The Succession Committee was tasked with finding a dynamic leader capable of sustaining the remarkable prosperity achieved under Commissioner Selig. Equally important, we sought an executive who will ensure that our game takes important strides forward in the future. In Rob Manfred, we have found that leader.
“Without fanfare or glory, Rob has assembled a long and proven record of helping the game excel in fundamental ways. He combines great intellect and forward-thinking creativity with unwavering respect for the contributions of the game’s many constituents. The owners wholeheartedly support Rob’s vision for the future of the National Pastime, and we are proud that he will succeed Commissioner Selig in January.”
Commissioner Selig said: “The unanimous vote of the owners reflects our industry’s position that Rob Manfred is the best person to lead our game forward. Having worked with Rob for more than 20 years, and knowing the training he has had within our great game, I believe he is an outstanding choice who will bring true passion and leadership to Major League Baseball.”
Confirming a report from Tuesday, the Diamondbacks officially signed right-hander Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million contract on Friday. The 39-year-old stands to receive up to $4 million in incentives, per Jack MacGruder of FanRag Sports, with $250,000 kicking in when the veteran reaches 40, 50 and 60 appearances and $500,000 if he reaches 70.
Rodney came three games shy of the 70-appearance mark in 2016 during back-to-back stints with the Padres and Marlins. He put up a cumulative 3.44 ERA on the year, which effectively disguised the extreme split during his performances in San Diego and Miami. The Diamondbacks aren’t anywhere close to contending in 2017, but Rodney should stabilize the back end of their bullpen while providing Arizona GM Mike Hazen with a potential trade chip during next year’s deadline.
Hazen issued a statement following the signing:
With Fernando, we’re getting an established Major League closer and a veteran presence in the bullpen. It is helpful to have someone with his experience on the back end to slow the game down and get the final three outs.
The Cardinals have officially signed outfielder Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Fowler will also get a full no-trade clause.
The Cardinals gave Fowler a bigger deal than many speculated he’d get, as some reports predicted he’d get something in the $52-72 million range. His skills, however — he’s a fantastic leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position — definitely earned him some major dough. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 13 steals over 125 games in 2016 for the World Series champion Cubs.
For the Cardinals, this will allow Matt Carpenter to move down to the middle of the batting order and will shift Randal Grichuk to left field. It also takes a prime piece from the Cardinals’ biggest rival. For their part, earlier this offseason the Cubs signed former Cardinal center fielder Jon Jay. So that’s fun.