Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred finds himself under scrutiny often, widely viewed as the worst commissioner in American sports. Serving in his role as the protective shield for MLB owners, MLB is compensating Manfred quite well.
While Manfred isn’t the highest-paid commissioner in sports, coming in far behind Roger Goodell, he also has made several public mistakes in recent years. Already under scrutiny from MLB players for giving Houston Astros players immunity to cooperate in the sign-stealing investigation, Manfred downplayed the importance of the World Series trophy.
When asked to respond to complaints from players about the Astros getting to keep their World Series title despite blatant cheating, Manfred delivered a line that tarnished his reputation with players.
“The idea of an asterisk or asking for a piece of metal back seems like a futile act”MLB commissioner Rob Manfred on the idea of stripping Houston Astros of their World Series (ESPN interview in 2020)
While Manfred later apologized for the remark, the MLB commissioner did very little to repair his reputation with the MLB Players Association. The 63-year-old’s image took another devastating blow on March 1 when he immediately smiled at a press conference after announcing the cancelation of games for the start of the 2022 season.
Despite Manfred’s repeated blunders when representing the sport, baseball remains incredibly profitable. MLB reported record-setting revenue every year before the COVID-19 pandemic. After taking a hit during the COVID-shortened year, it rebounded in 2021. With new TV deals being signed and more sources of income coming in, Manfred is making more than he ever did before.
Appearing on the ESPN Daily podcast, MLB reporter Don Van Natta Jr. disclosed that Manfred makes $17.5 million per year, also earning bonuses to earn him more than $25 million.
It’s a massive spike from the $11 million salary the Washington Post reported in October 2020. With bonuses tied to yearly MLB revenue, it’s also no surprise that Manfred is surpassing $25 million per season in some years.
At $25 million, Manfred would earn the same amount as future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander, Texas Rangers second baseman Marcus Semien and Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto. The MLB commissioner would also be earning more than AL MVP candidate Jose Ramirez ($22 million), All-Star shortstop Trea Turner ($21 million) and $6 million more than Aaron Judge.
Just months after MLB owners talked about how there isn’t that much money in baseball and teams, it’s clear based on Manfred’s salary and the rising franchise values that MLB is doing just fine.