The Houston Astros suffered a major blow for the upcoming season. On Monday morning, Major League Baseball announced manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow have been suspended for the 2020 season for their involvement in cheating during the 2017 World Series. The league also announced the Astros have been fined $5 million and that they will lose first and second-round draft picks in the 2020 and 2021 drafts.
No players were disciplined in the MLB's investigation. Former Astros player and current New York Mets manager Carlos Beltran was named in the investigation, but he will not be suspended. The Astros defeated the Los Angles Dodgers in the 2017 World Series for their first championship in franchise history.
The news of the Astros cheating broke back in November. It was revealed the club stole signs during home games with the use of an outfield camera.
"I just want the game to be cleaned up a little bit because there are guys who are losing their jobs because they’re going in there not knowing," former pitcher Mike Fiers told The Athletic. "I had to let my team know so that we were prepared when we went to go play them at Minute Maid."
The camera was set up in the center field and it was hooked up to a TV monitor in the team's home dugout. Once they found out what each signal met, they would relay it back to the batters. The team would bang on the trash can a certain number of times to indicate which pitch was coming.
"Regarding the story posted by The Athletic earlier today, the Houston Astros organization has begun an investigation in cooperation with Major League Baseball," the team said in a statement at the time. "It would not be appropriate to comment further on this matter at this time."
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said at the time the allegations against the Astros were very serious and would conduct a thorough investigation. He said back in November: "Any allegations that relate to a rule violation that could affect the outcome of a game or games is the most serious matter. "We have ... what is going to be a really, really thorough investigation ongoing."
After the MLB announced the suspension of Hinch and Luhnow, the league also said that Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora will also be disciplined. Cora was the Astros' bench coach during the 2017 season.