MLB moves Joe Torre to advisor role, elevates Chris Young to head of on-field ops

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Today Major League Baseball announced a number of changes in the Commissioner’s Office. The most notable move: Joe Torre, who had been head of baseball operations since February 2011, and whose title was most recently “Chief Baseball Officer,” is being eased to the side in favor of former big league pitcher Chris Young.

Specifically, Torre has been named Special Assistant to the Commissioner. While that’s still a job, the move comes with one of those gold watch statements you often get from the head honcho. From the press release:

Commissioner Manfred said: “I have always appreciated Joe’s great respect for Baseball and his lifetime of contributions to the National Pastime. I am pleased that Joe will remain a valuable resource to us, as he has been for the last decade.”

He’ll advise. He has Manfred’s ear, but he’s no longer the guy who will be issuing out the discipline, riding herd over the umps and meeting the press when there’s a controversial call in Game 6 of the World Series.

Who will do that? Chris Young. Again, from the release:

Chris Young, who had served as Vice President, On-Field Operations, Initiatives & Strategy, has been promoted to Senior Vice President. Young will oversee the On-Field Operations and Umpiring Departments and will continue to report to [Deputy Commissioner Dan] Halem. The Princeton graduate joined the Commissioner’s Office in May 2018. Young manages issues that affect play on the field, including oversight of umpiring, playing rules and regulations, on-field standards and discipline, pace of play and other special projects. The 13-year Major League pitcher was a 2007 National League All-Star with the San Diego Padres and a member of the 2015 World Series Champion Kansas City Royals.

Other moves:

  • Morgan Sword has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Baseball Economics & Operations. Sword will lead the Baseball Economics & Operations Department, reporting to Halem. He will also continue to be deeply involved in baseball’s Labor Relations Department. He’s basically doing what Rob Manfred did a decade ago;
  • MLB has also hired longtime Major League players Gregor Blanco and Nick Hundley as Senior Directors, Baseball Operations, each reporting to Young.

Definitely a changing of the guard on Park Avenue.

MLB sells share of BAMTech to Walt Disney Co. for $900M

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NEW YORK – Major League Baseball has sold its remaining share of a streaming service technology company to the Walt Disney Co. for $900 million.

The sale was disclosed Tuesday in Walt Disney Co.’s annual filing report through the SEC. MLB received the $900 million in exchange for the 15% stake it still had in a company called BAMTech, which originally started as MLB Advanced Media in 2000.

The technology helped MLB become a leader in sports streaming in the 2000s.

Walt Disney Co. has been buying chunks of BAMTech for the past five years and now owns 100% of the company. The National Hockey League sold its 10% share of BAMTech to Walt Disney Co. for a reported $350 million in 2021.