Fallout from the Astros Sign Stealing Scandal

Drake Drymond, Head Editor

This past Monday harsh punishment from the MLB came down on the Houston Astros. The Astros were fined 5 million dollars and had their 1st and 2nd round draft picks stripped for the next 2 years. Additionally, General Manager Jeff Luhnow and Manager A.J. Hinch were each handed 1 year suspensions for their part in the sign stealing scandal from 2017-2019 (Allegedly). During that time, low level staffers for the organization used video cameras and other devices to steal and signal the pitch signs of opposing pitchers to the batter. Owner Jim Crane took swift action and fired both Luhnow and Hinch within hours of the release of the punishment. 

An important point of note in this story however is that the Astros were not alone in this scandal. At least an additional 8 teams are currently being investigated by the MLB for actions similar to the Astros sign stealing. The Boston Red Sox, who are among those 8 teams under investigation recently fired Manager Alex Cora who was involved in both the Astros scandal (2017) and the Red Sox (2018-2019).  

With all of this news coming to the forefront, it leaves Astros fans with several questions, such as what’s next for the Astros organization? The Astros will have to move forward into next season with a new Manager and GM. They will still be in contention to make another run at the World Series yet again as they still boast one of the best rosters in the entire league. 

Who will replace Luhnow and Hinch now that they’ve been fired? Former Washington Nationals Manager Dusty Baker, and former Baltimore Orioles Manager Buck Showalter have reportedly expressed interest in filling A.J. Hinch’s former position. Regardless of who is hired, they will face high expectations from the get go. As for the position of GM, Jeff Luhnow will be deeply missed. The man who helped bring the Astros from the depths of baseball irrelevance to World Series champs was a key figure in the organization and is irreplaceable. Whomever is chosen to be his successor will be faced with the daunting task of having to attract high level free agents and build up the Astros farm-system without any 1st or 2nd round picks for the first 2-years of their regime. 

As for the remaining 8 teams under investigation; they will be subject to whatever the MLB investigations reveal and the punishments levied by the MLB. More teams may be revealed to have been involved in similar schemes. Yet for a league that has a past rife with cheating and bending of rules, it appears as if sign stealing was an issue (or strategy depending on your point of view) that was going on all around the league and the Astros just happened to be the ones who got caught.