MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke to reporters ahead of the beginning of the World Series yesterday about a variety of topics. One point of discussion, as relayed by Evan Drellich of The Athletic, was the potential for major league players to participate in the 2028 Summer Olympics, which will take place in Los Angeles. Manfred referenced a push by Casey Wasserman, who acts as CEO of the Wasserman agency and chairman of the LA 2028 organization, making a push to include baseball in the Summer Olympics, which Manfred expressed his support for.
That said, while Manfred noted that the league “will continue to listen as to whether there’s some arrangement that could be worked out… to make it the best possible tournament,” he also cautioned that there are “challenges” that come with staging a tournament like the Olympics in the middle of the major league season, as the 2028 Olympics would be. Olympic baseball was opened to professional players in 2000, but MLB has blocked its players from participating in the games due to its overlap with the big league season, leading to rosters primarily filled by international and minor league players.
Many of the world’s best players not participating led to baseball being dropped from the games entirely in 2012, 2016, and 2024, though that could change if the league and the International Olympic Committee can work out a deal for major league players to participate in the games. It’s unclear how feasible such a deal could be, however, as Manfred explicitly clarified that even as he hopes to support the effort to bring baseball back to the Olympics, he “[is] not saying one word” about allowing big leaguers to partake in the tournament, at least at this point.
More notes from around the league…
- Rangers outfielder Adolis Garcia continued his postseason tear last night against the Diamondbacks, hitting a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 11th inning to win the game for Texas. Garcia’s heroics last night add to what has been an incredible postseason for the 30-year-old. Garcia has now slugged six homers total across five consecutive games with a long ball, bringing the ALCS MVP’s postseason slash line to an incredible .357/.400/.804 in 60 trips to the plate this October. Garcia, of course, was acquired from the Cardinals back in 2019 in exchange for cash considerations. Former Rangers president of baseball operations Jon Daniels spoke with Rob Bradford on the Baseball Isn’t Boring podcast recently about acquiring Garcia, who noted that Garcia was only available to the club thanks to St. Louis’s considerable outfield depth at the time, credited assistant GM of player development and international scouting Ross Fenstermaker as a key person who vouched for Garcia’s talent within the organization. The acquisition has, of course, worked out wonderfully for Texas, who have Garcia under team control through the end of the 2026 campaign.
- MLB.com’s Scott Merkin recently looked at the questions facing the White Sox this offseason, including the futures of Luis Robert Jr. and Tim Anderson. Merkin, who indicates the White Sox view the coming offseason as more of a short-term “retool” than a full-scale “rebuild,” suggests that Robert is “as close to untouchable” as any player on the roster this offseason in trade discussions. If Chicago indeed intends to avoid a rebuild, that’s sensible, given Robert’s immense talent and four remaining seasons of team control. Perhaps more surprisingly, Merkin suggests that the White Sox “probably aren’t giving up Anderson for nothing” when discussing the club’s upcoming team option decision on his services for 2024. In a poll earlier this month, 60% of MLBTR readers responded that the White Sox should decline Anderson’s option, though Merkin seems to suggest the club either trading him or simply retaining him headed into 2024 is the more likely outcome.