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Report: Owners expected to approve five-year extension for Rob Manfred

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Next week, MLB owners are expected to vote and unanimously approve a five-year extension for commissioner Rob Manfred, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports.

Manfred, 60, was elected to succeed Bud Selig in August 2014 and officially took over in January 2015. Major League Baseball has achieved record revenues during his tenure. He has also made noteworthy changes to pace of play rules. A new collective bargaining agreement was also ratified which has thus far worked out well for ownership. Thus, it comes as no surprise that Manfred will be unanimously approved to spend at least another five years at the helm.

Nightengale notes that additional rules are expected to be discussed between Manfred and the owners including more pace of play improvements such as a pitch clock, as well as potentially limiting shifts and pitching changes. The league could also make a rule to discourage the use of “openers,” a strategy popularized by the Rays this past season in which a traditional reliever starts a game but quickly yields to a starting pitcher once he has gotten through a certain portion of the opposing lineup.

Report: Astros, Ryan Pressly close to agreement on two-year, $17.5 million extension

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Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Astros and reliever Ryan Pressly are close to finalizing a two-year, $17.5 million contract extension, which will also include a third-year vesting club option. Rome notes that the extension is believed to be the largest, in terms of both total money and average annual value, for a reliever who is not a closer.

Pressly, 30, agreed to a $2.9 million salary for the 2019 season back in January, avoiding arbitration in his final year of eligibility. The Astros acquired Pressly from the Twins near the end of July in exchange for a pair of minor leaguers. Pressly posted a 3.40 ERA in 47 2/3 innings with the Twins and a 0.77 ERA in 23 1/3 innings with the Astros. In the playoffs, Pressly allowed just one run on one hit and three walks with seven strikeouts across five innings of work.

Along with Héctor Rondón, Pressly will once again help bridge the gap to closer Roberto Osuna.