MLB owners convened in Baltimore on Thursday thinking they were going to vote between three men who were in the running to become the league’s next commissioner. But that field is now down to two after Tim Brosnan, MLB’s executive vice president, withdrew his candidacy before the first vote took place, a source has told the Associated Press.
The owners are currently voting between Rob Manfred, MLB’s chief operating officer, and Boston Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner.
Brosnan’s candidacy was widely considered a long shot. According to the AP, he had the support of only one team: the Cincinnati Reds. The winning candidate will need to garner 23 of 30 votes, or 75 percent of the league’s ownership.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that Manfred is on the verge of winning the vote, though is far from a shoe-in.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) August 14, 2014
According to Eric Fisher of Sports Business Journal, Brosnan could be throwing his support behind Werner’s bid in a possible quid pro quo situation.
Now the intrigue begins. Brosnan dropping out of commish race ahead of first vote. Likely alliance w Werner — Eric Fisher (@EricFisherSBJ) August 14, 2014
There have been whispers Brosnan would be deputy commish to Werner if he wins — Eric Fisher (@EricFisherSBJ) August 14, 2014
Voting by secret written ballot reportedly began around 1:30 p.m. So far, there have been no puffs of white smoke.
Appears we’re in a break – Selig just headed up the elevator — Eric Fisher (@EricFisherSBJ) August 14, 2014
Bud Selig just got in an elevator and waved. I don’t know what that means. — James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) August 14, 2014
For more on the back-room politicking involved in the commissioner vote, click here.