MLB Rumors: Another Matt Chapman suitor, Montgomery reunion, Manfred replacement

  • An AL West team discusses adding Matt Chapman.
  • The chances Jordan Montgomery will reunite with former team
  • Who could replace Rob Manfred as commissioner?

Jul 24, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Matt Chapman (26) hits a
Jul 24, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Matt Chapman (26) hits a / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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Theo Epstein to replace Rob Manfred as MLB commissioner?

With pitchers and catchers reporting to their respective teams ahead of spring training, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred spoke with the media regarding a variety of topics. While answering questions, Manfred revealed that he will step down as commissioner in January 2029, when his five-year contract runs out.

Manfred was a polarizing commissioner, given his role in the punishment of the Houston Astros for the sign-stealing scandal, numerous lockouts, and rule changes. While Manfred's exit is five years away, fans and media alike are trying to figure out who would replace him in 2029.

Theo Epstein, currently part of the Boston Red Sox ownership group, was listed as one of the candidates to replace Manfred by The Athletic's Evan Drellich. A friend of Epstein told Drellich that the current Red Sox owner would listen if he were approached about the commissioner role. However, Drellich says that Epstein "ikely wouldn’t sign up unless he had a sense he could actually affect positive change in the game."

Epstein is known for helping bring World Series titles to two of the most "cursed" franchises at the time he took over. Epstein built the Red Sox teams that won the World Series in 2004 and 2007, their first titles since 1918, as team president and CEO. Then, Epstein took over as team president for the Chicago Cubs and constructed a roster that won the World Series in 2016, their first title since 1908.

So, Epstein helped make a name for himself during his tenure with both organizations. But Epstein left in 2020 and became a consultant for MLB, working under Manfred. He held this position until he joined the Red Sox ownership group.

Drellich notes that Epstein isn't overwhelmingly popular in the league. As for the most logical option, Drellich mentions deputy commissioner Dan Halem, considering he served in the role that Manfred did when working under Bud Selig before receiving promotion.

Again, there is over four years to go until MLB has to choose its next commissioner. The belief is Epstein will at least listen if offered the position, per his friend.