SECOND UPDATE (3:30 p.m. ET): The Astros have fired manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow.
FIRST UPDATE (2:20 p.m. ET): Major League Baseball has officially announced the Houston Astros’ discipline for their roles in the 2017 cheating scandal.
Astros punishment from MLB:
– Jeff Luhnow, president of baseball ops and GM, and manager AJ Hinch suspended one year without pay.
– Fined $5,000,000
– Astros forfeit first and second round selections in the 2020 and 2021 First-Year Player Drafts.
— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) January 13, 2020
“I find that the conduct of the Astros, and its senior baseball operations executives, merits significant discipline,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a nine-page ruling. “I base this finding on the fact that the club’s senior baseball operations executives were given express notice in September 2017 that I would hold them accountable for violations of our policies covering sign stealing, and those individuals took no action to ensure that the club’s players and staff complied with those policies during the 2017 postseason and the 2018 regular season.
“The conduct described herein has caused fans, players, executives at other MLB clubs, and members of the media to raise questions about the integrity of games in which the Astros participated. And while it is impossible to determine whether the conduct actually impacted the results on the field, the perception of some that it did causes significant harm to the game.”
Alex Cora and the Boston Red Sox will be on alert in the coming days and weeks. Cora, who was the Astros’ bench coach in 2017, was named 11 times in MLB’s findings. The Red Sox also were the focus of separate sign-stealing allegations during the 2018 season, The Athletic reported last week.
“I will withhold determining the appropriate level of discipline for Cora until after the DOI completes its investigation of the allegations that the Red Sox engaged in impermissible electronic sign stealing in 2018 while Cora was the manager,” Manfred wrote.
ORIGINAL STORY: Major League Baseball has finished its investigation, and the league is coming down hard on the Houston Astros.
MLB is suspending Astros manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow one year for their roles in the Astros’ cheating scandal, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported Monday. The Astros also will lose their first- and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021 in addition to facing the maximum $5 million fine, according to The Athletic.
According to the reports, no players are being disciplined for their roles.
The scandal was uncovered by The Athletic, which reported in November that the Astros devised an organized scheme to steal signs during home games in 2017. According to the report, the Astros set up a computer with video equipment just down the tunnel from the dugout where players would bang on a trash can to let hitters know what pitch was coming.
Houston went on to win the World Series in 2017.
The Athletic also reported MLB is in the process of completing its investigation into the Boston Red Sox, and discipline will be coming for manager Alex Cora. Cora, of course, was the bench coach for the Astros during the 2017 season. The Red Sox were at the center of a separate story by The Athletic last week related to cheating allegations.