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Tom Werner a finalist to be MLB commissioner

Tom Werner

Jim Davis/Globe Staff/File

Tom Werner

ST. LOUIS — Red Sox chairman Tom Werner has emerged as one of the three candidates to replace Bud Selig as commissioner of baseball after being urged by other owners to apply for the position.

Werner, Major League Baseball chief operating officer Rob Manfred, and MLB executive vice president of business Tim Brosnan are the finalists, according to a USA Today report confirmed by the Globe.

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“A number of owners asked me to consider the position. I am not running against Rob Manfred, but to be able to articulate my vision for the future,’’ Werner said Tuesday night.

Selig’s successor would require votes from 23 of the 30 principal owners. Selig, 79, is going through with plans to retire after 22 years as commissioner and will step down in January. A search committee chaired by Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt narrowed the field and will present the choices to owners at a meeting in Baltimore on Aug. 14 for a vote.

Werner, sources said, greatly impressed the committee with his thoughts during the initial round of interviews. Manfred long has been viewed as Selig’s likely successor. But Werner does have a background that would qualify him for the job.

Werner said he is looking forward to making a presentation to the full ownership group.

“I have ideas that I believe the owners should hear,” Werner said. “That’s why I’m involved in the process.”

Would Werner accept the position if he were elected?

“I’m not going to answer a hypothetical,” he said.

Werner, 64, has been part of the Sox ownership group since 2002. He was the principal owner of the San Diego Padres from 1990-94 and maintained a stake in the team until 1997. Werner’s experience in television also helps also makes him an attractive candidate to become commissioner.

He was executive producer of “The Cosby Show” and other network hits, including “Roseanne,” “A Different World,” “Cybil,” and “That ’70s Show.”

Werner is on the board of directors of the MLB Network, MLB Enterprises, and MLB Properties. In July, Werner told the Globe that he had no interest in becoming commissioner.

“Me as commissioner? No, I’m very happy as chairman of the Boston Red Sox. It’s been a fantastic ride,” he said.

He repeated that on Tuesday. “I’m privileged to be chairman of the Red Sox,” Werner said. “But this was presented to me and I felt I should follow through.”

Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.
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