Fired After Sign-Stealing Scandal, Ex-Astros GM Jeff Luhnow Sues Team

Luhnow claims there was an effort to make him “the scapegoat for the organization"

Fired After Sign-Stealing Scandal, Ex-Astros GM Jeff Luhnow Sues Team
Ex-Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow addresses the media.
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A former Houston Astros executive who was fired after MLB found him responsible for the team’s sign-stealing scandal during the 2017 and 2018 seasons has filed a lawsuit against the team claiming he was scapegoated.

Jeff Luhnow, who was fired in January along with former Astros manager A.J. Hinch, is suing Houston for breach of contract and says team owner Jim Crane and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred worked together to make him “the scapegoat for the organization,” according to The Los Angeles Times.

By firing Luhnow, who has claimed he didn’t know about the sign-stealing scheme and would take a lie-detector test to prove it, Crane was freed up from paying out more than $22 million in guaranteed salary.

According to Luhnow’s lawsuit, MLB’s investigation into what was happening in ’17 and ’18 was actually “a negotiated resolution” between Crane and Manfred “that enabled the team to keep its World Series championship, went to great lengths to publicly exonerate Crane, and scapegoated Luhnow for a sign-stealing scandal that he had no knowledge of and played no part in.”

Hinch has found work as the manager of the Detroit Tigers and Alex Cora, who was a bench coach for Houston during their 2017 World Series run, has been rehired by the Red Sox after being suspended for the 2020 season for his role in the sign-stealing scheme. Luhnow has not found work in baseball.

“The commissioner vetted potential penalties with Crane, and the two exchanged a series of proposals,” the suit reads. “Those negotiations proved beneficial to Crane and the Astros. The commissioner allowed the Astros to keep their 2017 World Series championship, imposed a $5 million fine (a fraction of the revenues Crane had reaped as part of the team’s recent success), and took away four draft picks. He also issued a blanket vindication of Crane, absolving him of any responsibility for failing to supervise his club.”

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