MLB chief operating officer Rob Manfred has long been rumored to be the top candidate to replace commissioner Bud Selig. According to CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman, Manfred is only a few votes shy of being elected Selig's replacement.
Heyman reports that 20 MLB owners favor Manfred. A total of 23 votes (more than 75 percent of the 30 owners) are required to select a new commissioner.
USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports that there are three finalists for Selig's replacement: Manfred, MLB vice president of business Tim Brosnan and Red Sox chairman Tom Werner.
More from Heyman:
What makes this vote especially interesting is that most owners are strongly supporting Manfred, Selig's right-hand man for many years, while word is that Selig's close friend and ally for decades, longtime White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, is backing both or either of the other two candidates. Reinsdorf might possibly also favor a potential fourth fall-back candidate, Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall.
The New York Times reported in May that Reinsdorf had "broken ranks and tried to upend the plan to slide Mr. Manfred into the commissioner’s office." Heyman says there are four teams who support Reinsdorf in voting for either Werner or a combined Werner/Brosnan ticket.
The owners of MLB's 30 teams will meet in Baltimore on August 14 to hold an initial vote for Selig's replacement.
Selig, who has been baseball's commissioner since 1992, announced last September he will retire in January 2015.
- Dan Gartland