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In unanimous vote, Commissioner-elect Manfred gets five-year contract

KANSAS CITY -- Rob Manfred, who will become Major League Baseball's 10th Commissioner in January, formally was given a five-year contract Thursday on the final day of the quarterly Owners Meetings at the Intercontinental Hotel.

Manfred, who has been MLB's chief operating officer since Sept. 28, 2013 and was executive vice president of labor relations for 15 years prior to that, was elected to be the next Commissioner during Owners Meetings held in Baltimore in August. He will succeed Bud Selig, who is retiring on Jan. 25 after presiding over more than 22 years of unprecedented growth and change in the sport.

"I believe he is an outstanding choice who will bring true passion and leadership to Major League Baseball," Selig said. "We are where we want to be. We're having a wonderful transition, an orderly transition, a good transition. Really very important. That's the way it's supposed to be."

Manfred said the dimensions of the task that lies ahead for him have already sunk in.

"It hits me every day when I go to work," he said. "I agree with Commissioner Selig. We've had a very productive and smooth transition. I would be remiss if I didn't thank him for how supportive he's been of everything I've been working on since Baltimore. But you do realize what a big job he's had for all these years. It's not like it's new to me. I've seen him. I've watched him. But when you start to realize it's going to be you, it does hit you."

Selig's final Owners Meetings as Commissioner will be in January in Arizona. "Which is fitting," Manfred said. "He loves the January meeting in Phoenix, has a home there. And it will be a nice moment for him to finish up."

Thursday's vote of the owners was unanimous. "Rob's going to be a great Commissioner," Yankees president Randy Levine said.

Paul Hagen is a reporter for