Monday afternoon, Major League Baseball and commissioner Rob Manfred announced their punishment for the Houston Astros stemming from the team's sign-stealing scandal. The Astros were alleged to have illegally used electronics to steal signs during their 2017 World Series Championship run and MLB's investigation verified media reports.
Here is a recap of the discipline:
Astros fined $5 million, the maximum allowed under MLB's constitution.
GM Jeff Luhnow suspended for one year. Luhnow was then fired by the Astros.
Manager A.J. Hinch suspended for one year. Hinch was then fired by the Astros.
Former assistant GM Brandon Taubman suspended one year.
Astros forfeit their first and second round draft picks the next two years.
Manfred issued a nine-page report detailing MLB's investigation and explaining how he arrived at the discipline. The scandal and the level of discipline are unprecedented, and yet the punishment also feels a little light.
Specifically, the $5 million fine is probably not enough to deter similar behavior in the future. Hinch and Luhnow getting suspended and then fired will undoubtedly resonate throughout baseball circles, but, at the ownership level, the $5 million fine is a pittance relative to the financial windfall associated with winning the 2017 World Series.
Astros players took home a then-record $30,420,155.57 postseason pool in 2017, and, given how that is calculated and the fact the Astros played seven games in the ALCS and World Series, it means the club itself took home something well north of that following the 2017 postseason run. The $5 million fine amounts to only a small piece of that pie.