Well, the Astros punishment for their sign-stealing scandal is in. And, by golly, it isn’t pretty.
BREAKING: Houston Astros GM Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch have been suspended for one year after an MLB investigation found the team used technology to cheat during its World Series-winning 2017 season, sources familiar with the punishment tell ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 13, 2020
BREAKING: Per sources, MLB’s penalties for #Astros include:— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 13, 2020
*One-year suspensions for GM Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch.
*Losses of 1st and 2nd round draft picks in both 2020 and ‘21.
*A fine of $5M.
Full story and more context with @EvanDrellich: https://t.co/djvKEYFiC7
The Astros have made their bed and now they have to lie in it. More details and discussion to come.
No players will be disciplined for their role in the sign-stealing scheme. But I wouldn’t want to be Alex Cora right now.
No players were disciplined by Major League Baseball in the Astros' investigation. While Mets manager Carlos Beltran was part of it, he was a player at the time and thus was not suspended.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 13, 2020
Discipline for Red Sox manager Alex Cora is coming. It is going to be harsh, per sources.
Commissioner Rob Manfred absolutely tore the Astros a new one when it comes to the club’s culture, specifically in the front office.
In his release, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred absolutely skewered the Houston Astros' culture. pic.twitter.com/qQ2XxPZjKG— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 13, 2020
And former assistant general manager Brandon Taubman also saw punishment (deservingly) from this investigation.
MLB’s statement announcing its findings of the Astros investigation, including 2020 suspensions for Jeff Luhnow, A.J. Hinch and Brandon Taubman, is 10 pages long. Here it is in full. (1/10) pic.twitter.com/lyWEaM28Mc— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) January 13, 2020
Manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow will want to keep a low profile for a while.
During their year-long suspension, neither A.J. Hinch nor Jeff Luhnow is allowed to attend spring training or attend any major/minor league stadiums affiliated with the Astros. If they do so, they will be put on the permanently ineligible list— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) January 13, 2020
And the scheme also occurred during the 2017 postseason. That’s damning.
Of all the things in MLB's investigation and Rob Manfred's nine-page letter, this might be the most damning.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 13, 2020
The Astros, who won the 2017 World Series, used their sign-stealing scheme that postseason. pic.twitter.com/nnSj1P2k7D
Yes, why did they keep doing it?
From the report: "Some Astros players told my investigators that they did not believe the sign-stealing scheme was effective, and it was more distracting than useful to hitters." So... why would they keep doing it?— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) January 13, 2020
More to come in due time, I’m sure.
EVEN MORE UPDATES
So long to the Luhnow/Hinch era in Houston.
Jim Crane has fired AJ Hinch and Jeff Luhnow— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) January 13, 2020
The (lone) assistant general manager Pete Putila is a name to watch in the general manager search.
Astros owner Jim Crane just said he will oversee baseball operations and made reference to a general manager candidate internally. That would be Pete Putila, who was elevated this offseason to assistant GM.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 13, 2020
And bench coach Joe Espada, who was in the running for a couple of manager jobs earlier this offseason, is now the interim manager for the Astros.
Source: Joe Espada expected to be named interim manager of the Astros during Hinch’s suspension. Espada has been Houston’s bench coach since the start of 2018.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) January 13, 2020
What a freaking day.