Who’s on the Hot Seat Heading into the 2024 Season?

Who is feeling the heat?

These types of hot seat articles typically focus their emphasis on which managers are on the hot seat. However, in this story, we are going to expand our lens wider to look at the figures throughout the game of baseball feeling the heat going into the 2024 season.


Rob Manfred 


During the 2023 season, MLB owners decided to extend Rob Manfred’s contract to 2029. This means he will have served almost 15 seasons in baseball’s most important job after taking over from Bud Selig in January 2015. However, much of this time has been spent in the hot seat.

Back in 2020, Manfred received criticism after the Astros cheating scandal for calling the World Series trophy “a hunk of metal” – remarks he later apologized for, but still the infamous phrase has stuck around to this day. Some in the baseball community also felt that Manfred should have doled out punishments to the players involved in the scandal, instead of just the Astros franchise.

He put his foot in his mouth again last season with his comments regarding the Oakland A’s and the team’s relocation efforts. When the A’s held a reverse boycott game last June in response to these efforts, Manfred sarcastically commented on the game’s attendance.

“It was great,” Manfred said. “It’s great to see what is this year almost an average Major League Baseball crowd in the facility for one night. That’s a great thing.”

At that time, Manfred also spoke on the lack of a new stadium proposal from the city of Oakland, a point that the office of Oakland’s Mayor, Sheng Thao, disputed. Thao and Manfred then continued their disagreements for the rest of the season. It’s not a good look for the commissioner to be arguing in the press with the leader of a city where MLB has one of its thirty franchises.

Recently Manfred announced that he will indeed retire when that contract expires, giving way to a new commissioner for the 2029 season. That means that he will still be in charge when the next collective bargaining agreement expires in 2026. Fans hope that Manfred will not oversee a second lockout during his tenure.


Aaron Boone


As in most seasons, the Yankees had World Series aspirations in 2023, but they finished fourth in a particularly tough AL East. New York was seven games over .500 (49-42) at the All-Star break but went 33-38 in the second half to finish with a record of 82-80.

The seat was getting increasingly warm in August when the team lost 18 games but rebounded with a 17-10 record to stay in playoff contention until the last week of the season.

New York was slowed down by injuries and inconsistencies. Their big offseason acquisition, Carlos Rodón, battled injuries and finished with a miserable 3-8 record and a 6.85 ERA in his first season in New York. Luis Severino stumbled to a 4-8 record with a 6.65 ERA and left after the season for the Mets. Nestor Cortes couldn’t replicate his success from the 2022 season. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton also missed time with injuries and ended the season with a combined 61 home runs, one less than Judge’s historic total from the 2022 season.

The Yankees will have a revamped roster after trading for Juan Soto and Alex Verdugo and they’ve been linked to both Blake Snell and Dylan CeaseOdds would also suggest they won’t be quite as unlucky in the injury department as last season so they should be able to bounce back in 2024.

It will be up to Boone to see how he manages the new additions and the ebbs and flows of another long baseball season. The spotlight will always bright in New York and while Boone has two 100-win seasons and two division titles under his belt, he hasn’t been able to reach the World Series.

Boone’s contract is set to conclude after the 2024 season, and the Yankees hold a club option for 2025. However, anything less than an ALCS or World Series appearance this season could signal the end of his time in New York.

Boone’s Managerial Record


Fanatics & Nike


You may have read or heard a news story or two about the updated uniforms that are debuting this season – it’s only been the biggest story of spring training and is getting more attention than any of the actual baseball that has been played.

Complaints include that the overall aesthetic of baseball uniforms has declined, the quality of the clothing is subpar, the wording is harder to read, the logos are smaller, and most embarrassingly, the pants appear to be see-through.

Pitcher List writer Renee Dechert covered it nicely in detail last week and also made a point I had not seen yet. Despite what fans want from their favorite team in terms of gear or merch or what fans think is cool, when it comes to uniforms, the most important thing to remember is that they are the players’ work clothes.

“When discussing sports uniforms, the first thing to remember is that they are, first, the players’ work clothes.

As fans, generally, we want team gear that looks authentic and sends whatever message it is we’re trying to send by wearing a particular piece of merch. For us, these are special-occasion clothes.

But for players, it’s different. In the same way that you want to be comfortable when you do whatever it is you do to pay the rent, they do as well, except their job is very different — and a lot more public — than most of our jobs are.”

The benefit of the new uniforms is that they are supposed to be lighter weight and more breathable than older versions, which would be a welcome addition for the players, especially those playing in warm cities. Time will tell if the new uniforms make a difference.

It’s hard to tell who deserves the most blame for the uniform debacle, but both Fanatics and Nike bear some responsibility.


The Dodgers are one of MLB’s most historic and successful franchises but going into the 2024 season, they will be feeling the heat (and I’m not talking about the sunny skies of Southern California).

In 2023, the Dodgers won 100 games and their 10th division title in the past 11 seasons, yet for the second season in a row, they were knocked out of the playoffs by a division rival. This time around it was the Diamondbacks; in 2022, the Padres eliminated the Dodgers, winners of 111 games in the regular season in the NLDS. During the team’s past decade-plus of regular season success, they have only a lone World Series title (the COVID-19 shortened 2020 season).

In 2024, the team is hoping to avoid another playoff collapse but the pressure will be ratcheted up a few notches after a gigantic offseason spending spree. The Dodgers won the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes, signing the star to a record 10-year, $700 million contract. They also added Tyler Glasnow via trade, signed free agent Teoscar Hernández, and signed Japanese star Yoshinobu Yamamoto to a 12-year $325 million deal.

By signing Ohtani, the Dodgers now have four former MVPs on their roster (Clayton Kershaw in 2014, Mookie Betts in 2018, and Freddie Freeman in 2020). With that kind of star power, the spotlight from the media and attention from fans will be unwavering, and success is expected.

The players, front office, and coaches will be feeling pressure to succeed. Without a deep playoff run, and potentially even a World Series appearance, manager Dave Roberts will be looking for a new job in 2025.

Scott Boras


There’s a common thread among the top free agents who still haven’t signed contracts as we enter into March – they’re represented by Scott Boras.

Boras, probably the most famous sports agent in all of professional sports, is known for his drawn-out negotiation processes and for fetching huge contracts for his clients. Boras has many of this offseason’s top free agents as his clients – Cody Bellinger, Blake Snell, Jordan Montgomery, J.D. Martinez, and Matt Chapman; a group that includes 11 All-Star appearances, one MVP award, and two Cy Young awards. On February 27th, the Cubs and Bellinger finalized a three-year, $80 million deal; however, the rest of the marquee names are unsigned.

With spring training underway and teams now preparing for the upcoming season, you have to wonder how long this stalemate will last, and whether is Boras to blame for this.

One solution that has been bounced around is the idea of a free-agent signing deadline. This has been floated in the past, with the league proposing the idea of a deadline during the 2019-2020 offseason. However, it didn’t gain traction and was declined at that time by the MLBPA.

The topic was recently broached again by aforementioned MLB commissioner Rob Manfred. Manfred said earlier this month that the league would prefer for the deadline to occur in December. This deadline would make contracts and related details finalized long before spring training starts and would give agents like Boras less time to negotiate. Boras is against the idea as is Tony Clark, former MLB player and current president of the MLBPA, saying it would cause damage to players.


Photo by Eugene Chystiakov | Featured Image by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)

Nate Kosher

Nate Kosher is based in the Twin Cities and is a staff writer for Pitcher List. He grew up watching low-budget Twins teams at the Metrodome before eventually converting to the Arizona Diamondbacks (the power of teal and purple in the 1990s). His goal is to someday visit all 30 MLB ballparks and he believes Barry Bonds should be in the Hall of Fame. You can read more of Nate's writing in his newsletter, The Relief Pickle.

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