Former Astros GM Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch were among the most successful in baseball in their positions, but their legacies have been tarnished over the past few weeks. Almost a month ago, Major League Baseball suspended the pair for a year apiece for their roles in a 2017 sign-stealing scandal that has dominated headlines in recent weeks. In an effort to distance themselves from Luhnow and Hinch, the Astros fired both of them shortly after MLB banned the two for the 2020 campaign. The question now is whether either will return to their previous jobs with other teams when their suspensions end.
The Astros hired Luhnow, a former Cardinals executive, as their GM heading into the 2012 season. The club endured a couple incredibly lean years thereafter, winning 50-some games in Luhnow’s first two seasons, before beginning an upward climb that culminated in three straight 100-win campaigns from 2017-19. The Astros won their first-ever championship and a couple AL pennants in that three-year span, but now the legitimacy of that run is in question. Luhnow, per a report from the Wall Street Journal on Friday, may have been complicit in a sign-stealing scheme called “Codebreaker.”
While Luhnow denied having a role in “Codebreaker”, commissioner Rob Manfred disagreed, saying that “there is more than sufficient evidence to support a conclusion that you knew—and overwhelming evidence that you should have known—that the Astros maintained a sign-stealing program that violated MLB’s rules.”
Hinch, meanwhile, has come off as more contrite than Luhnow. He has owned up to the fact that the Astros committed wrongdoing on his watch. That should help Hinch’s cause if he attempts to become a manager again. It’ll have to be with another team, though. The Rubicon has been crossed in Houston, where he won’t get his old job back. The same applies to Luhnow. But do you expect another team to hire either of them sometime after their suspensions expire?
(Luhnow poll for app users)
(Hinch poll for app users)