Astros and Red Sox Fallout: Luhnow, Hinch, Cora, and Beltran, Draft Picks, Angry Players, More

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Astros and Red Sox Fallout: Luhnow, Hinch, Cora, and Beltran, Draft Picks, Angry Players, More

Chicago Cubs

I think we’re gonna have a lot of Bullet-style stuff this morning, and you’re just gonna have to tolerate it! There are a few topics where there are so many disparate things we wanted to get into that this was the best way to convey the information.

OK, so this one is a whole lot of after-effect stuff from the bombshell punishment for the Astros, as well as the associated firings, and now what looms for the Red Sox (and Mets?) …

  • Astros GM Jeff Luhnow, whom many around the game – including Commissioner Manfred in his announcement of punishment – suggest played a key role in establishing a toxic culture in the Astros organization, a culture that may have helped create the very cheating for which the Astros were punished, didn’t exactly accept any responsibility despite his statement:

  • “I accept responsibility, but let me be very clear that I didn’t do anything wrong.” Contrast that with manager A.J. Hinch’s statement – he was also suspended for a year and then fired – where he lays out much more clearly where he failed, even if he didn’t like what his players were doing:

  • It’s conceivable Crane, with help from what’s left of the front office, can successfully navigate what remains of the offseason, but they’re going to want to have a new baseball man in charge as soon as possible, because there’s a crapload of transacting at the margins in Spring Training, and then obviously a load of work for the draft and the Trade Deadline. (Might be time to make them a quick little offer for top pitching prospect Forrest Whitley, though, just to see what happens.)
  • If you were curious about the impact of the Astros’ draft pick penalties on everyone else, basically their top two selections are being eliminated from the draft in 2020 and 2021, and everyone else moves up accordingly. They were set to pick last in the first round, so they lose that pick and also their pick at the end of the second round. Thus, for the Cubs, who pick 16th (and have no compensatory or competitive balance picks), only their second rounder will move up a spot, and then subsequent picks will move up two spots, with the bonus pool increased slightly.
  • A lotta folks dumped on the punishment for the Astros – hey, fine by me, it’s an open debate – but I think it’s worth noting that the draft pick punishment not only is about the lost picks (the two highest picks in two drafts). That’s the bulk of the team’s bonus pool also going poof, which means not only are the picks themselves gone, but the ability to sign guys above slot – even a little above slot – later in the draft drops to almost zero. It really is a serious impact.
  • The legacy for the 2017 Astros is now forever tainted – this scandal will be right there alongside any mention of the World Series in the future – and the same is probably going to eventually become true for the Red Sox when their punishment comes down.
  • Given his key role in the sign-stealing scheme when he was the bench coach in Houston, everyone knows Alex Cora is going to receive a huge punishment from MLB. It hasn’t come yet because he’s *also* already being investigated as part of allegations that the Red Sox were using the video replay room to steal signs in 2018, when Cora was their manager. The Red Sox fired Cora last night. When he will be able to return to baseball remains to be seen. It could be a very long time.
  • In the meantime, the other person most mentioned by the Commissioner was Carlos Beltran, then a player with the Astros. He is not going to receive punishment – no player will – because he cooperated with the investigation (and, let’s be honest, because the league did not want a huge fight with the players association). But are the Mets going to move on from a guy who was clearly involved in a serious cheating scheme *AND* flat-out lied about it last fall:

  • Interesting:

  • There will be a lot of hard feelings and pissed off players around the league for a long time, not only because what the Astros (and Red Sox) did harmed other players very directly, but also because of this:

  • Good reads on the whole situation:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.