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Rob Manfred wants to rethink MLB's July 31 trade deadline

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred speaks at

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred speaks at a press conference before a baseball game between the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers Wednesday, May 6, 2015, in Houston. Credit: AP / Pat Sullivan

NEWARK -- Commissioner Rob Manfred said Wednesday it might be time to rethink Major League Baseball's July 31 trade deadline.

That is because with more teams in the playoff mix in the two-wild-card era, some are wary of making deals before they fall out of realistic contention.

"I think that July 31 deadline is something we may want to revisit in the context of the revised format," Manfred said before appearing on a panel at the Prudential Center at Beyond Sport United, a conference to promote and discuss social responsibility in sports.

"Obviously when you have two additional opportunities to be in the playoffs," Manfred said, "you have more teams in the hunt and they may want to wait a little longer before they make decisions.

"On the other hand you have to remember we want teams the core of which have been together for the year playing in the postseason. So you have to just balance those two issues, I think."

Here are some Manfred thoughts on other matters:

On increasing minority participation in baseball: "We've spent a considerable amount of time and resources trying to increase the number of African-Americans in the sport and we believe those efforts are starting to bear fruit; 25 percent of the first round in the draft was African-Americans. It's a high in recent years.

"Programs like our Urban Youth Academies, Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund that we run jointly with the MLBPA, are all efforts to make baseball available in underserved areas and they have begun to change the makeup of the people we're drafting."

On the future of widespread legalized gambling on baseball: "I'm not really ready to say anything more on the topic of legalized gambling."

On when he plans to meet with Pete Rose about potential reinstatement and what he thought about the report that he bet on baseball while he still was a player: "Oh, it'll certainly be after the Hall of Fame induction. It'll be later this summer . . . I really don't want to provide any updates on the process. There's really none to provide."

On how the United States' improved relationship with Cuba could impact baseball: "Well, we love countries where baseball is a strong part of the culture. We're very, very interested in Cuba. We have had ongoing dialogue with the Obama Administration about developments in Cuba. Obviously we're anxious to move forward on Cuba but even more important than that, we want to move forward in a way that's consistent with the policy of the federal government.

"Short term, I hope that we'll be in a position to play some games in Cuba next spring, some exhibition games. In the long haul, we'd like to see a more regularized process for Cuban players to come to the United States and play and if they want, return to Cuba."

On offering a la carte out-of-market games as the NBA announced Wednesday that it will do: "We look at the way we package our out-of-market games all the time. Candidly, we have some litigation in that area and I don't want to say more than that today."

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