Even with the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline having come and gone, there's plenty of activity and speculation around MLB in early August.
From the politics surrounding the impending MLB commissioner vote, waiver rumors picking up steam and a potentially major scandal brewing, rumors season is very much still upon us.
Let's take a look at the the most buzzed-about recent developments in major league baseball.
Three finalists in MLB commissioner vote
MLB owners will vote on a successor to Commissioner Bud Selig August 14, USA Today Sports' Bob Nightengale learned from a high-level executive Wednesday. The executive revealed that the three finalists on whom the owner will vote are MLB Chief Operating Officer Rob Manfred, MLB Executive Vice President of Business Tim Brosnan and Boston Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner.
The seven-person search committee headed by St. Louis Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt will present the three finalists to MLB's executive council at their owners' meetings, Nightengale's source revealed.
In surprising news related to the search for Selig's successor, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reported Tuesday that while most owners are supporting Manfred, who has worked with Selig for many years, Selig's close friend, White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, "is backing both or either of the other two candidates."
In a phone interview with Heyman, Reinsdorf would only provide the following comments: "Bud's my friend. I don't always agree with him, and he doesn't always agree with me. We disagree sometimes, but since he's the commissioner he usually wins."
The prospective new commissioner needs a vote from 23 of the 30 owners to be approved. Manfred would appear to be the favorite, being the second-highest ranked executive in major league baseball behind Selig. Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal noted that he was "heavily favored."
Sources: Rob Manfred, Tim Brosnan and Bob Bowman have all formally interviewed for the MLB commissioner’s job. Manfred heavily favored.— Brian Costa (@BrianCostaWSJ) July 22, 2014
Manfred proved in his deft handling of the labor negotiations in 2002, 2006 and 2011, which he managed to handle without any lockouts or strikes, that he has the skills necessary to take MLB into the next era as its commissioner.
More Biogenesis suspensions imminent
A day after the news that Biogenesis founder Anthony Bosch surrendered to D.E.A. agents, ESPN's T.J. Quinn revealed that the scandal is far from over for MLB. Quinn learned from two law enforcement sources that their investigation into Bosch revealed more player names that will soon be revealed, leading to additional suspensions down the line.
Two law enforcement sources tell me investigation revealed previously unnamed MLB players. Names will be revealed. Expect more suspensions.— T.J. Quinn (@TJQuinnESPN) August 5, 2014
The news has led to wild speculation by members of the media and fans alike on just who those previously unnamed players could be. Most are wise enough to keep those lists to themselves, but there's no doubt that the whispering will soon turn into reports once details are confirmed.
In some ways, this news could have a greater impact on the 2014 postseason than all the activity that occurred prior to the non-waiver trade deadline recently, depending on which players are implicated.
The ensuing fallout will almost certainly be the most important early test that Bud Selig's successor will have to address as the new MLB commissioner.
Dodgers' Hanley Ramirez claimed off waivers by unknown team
While teammate Matt Kemp cleared waivers, shortstop Hanley Ramirez was claimed by an unspecified team, Heyman reported Tuesday.
The unnamed team has two days remaining to work out a trade with the Dodgers, who can cancel the claim or let the team claim Ramirez outright. Ramirez is in a contract year after the six-year, $70 million deal he signed in 2008.
Though general manager Ned Colletti indicated in May that he wanted to sign Ramirez to an extension, as reported by Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, no recent reports have surfaced of further discussions.
Ramirez's production has dropped since his career 2013 season, when he batted .345 with 13 errors in 76 games. His fielding has taken a dive this season, in which he's already almost met his total errors from last season, with 12.
But without a better option to replace him on the bench, it seems unlikely that the Dodgers would complete a trade with the unknown suitor.