Rob Manfred has been named Chief Operating Officer of Major League Baseball, likely paving the way for him to take over for Bud Selig after the commissioner's planned retirement next season, according to Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports.
The owners have the ultimate vote on who takes over for commissioner, but with this move Selig is making a very clear suggestion -- and one that will likely have sway with the voters.
Manfred was most recently the Executive Vice President for Economics & League Affairs, and has worked with Major League Baseball since 1998. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1983, and has significant experience in litigation.
Selig has previously reneged on retirement plans, but he is expected to announce this one formally in January 2015. That would make his retirement official January 24, 2015.
Manfred would be the tenth all-time commissioner of Major League Baseball. Selig took the position in 1992, and if he retires in 2015 he will finish just shy of Kenesaw Mountain Landis's all-time record (25 years).