Report: Astros’ Suspensions Will Expire Even If 2020 MLB Season Is Canceled

No matter what happens, AJ Hinch and Jeff Luhnow could be back in baseball by 2021

MLB Hits Astros With Unprecedented Penalties for 2017 Sign-Stealing Scandal
Manager AJ Hinch talks with general manager Jeff Luhnow, of the Houston Astros. (Bob Levey/Getty)
Getty Images

Even if there is no baseball in 2020 — which is certainly a possibility — the one-season suspensions that Major League Baseball handed down to two former members of the Houston Astros organizations will count as being fulfilled.

Sources told ESPN’s Buster Olney that former Astros manager AJ Hinch and ex-Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow will be able to return to baseball in 2021 as their suspensions technically end “following the completion of the 2020 World Series.” Since the suspensions are linked to the end of the 2020 postseason instead of a number of games, the league will consider them served once the year is over. 

Hinch and Luhnow were disciplined for their roles in the team’s 2017 sign-stealing scandal during the offseason and fired by the Astros in January. According to league policy, Hinch and Luhnow will end up on MLB’s permanently ineligible list for any future violations once reinstated.

As for the 2020 season, don’t expect it to begin anytime soon. MLB and the MLBPA have agreed the season cannot begin until there are no longer any bans on mass gatherings, no relevant travel restrictions in the U.S. or Canada and medical experts determine it is safe to play games.

At this point, July 4 seems like the earliest that may happen.

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