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Sport Report: Astros investigation progressing and discipline seems likely

22:42  14 december  2019
22:42  14 december  2019 Source:   mlbtraderumors.com

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Passan reports the league is likely to discipline staffers including front office employees and on-field coaching personnel but not players. This could include Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch. A record-setting fine may also come down.

Astros sign-stealing investigation includes 76,000 emails. The investigation also covers the Astros ’ actions in the wake of former assistant general “At this point in the investigation , it would be wholly inappropriate for me to speculate about what types of discipline might be in play,” Manfred said.

Based on what we know, it's entirely possible the Astros participated in sign-stealing aided by a live feed from a center-field camera. The Astros maintain their belief that their actions were “in line with industry standards,” according to Andy Martino of SNY.tv.

Jeff Luhnow wearing glasses: Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow.© Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow.

The newest sticking point is an insistence out of Houston that the camera in question was already in place and not purchased/installed specifically for the purpose of stealing signs. It may seem a bizarre place to draw a line in the sand — and on its own hardly exculpatory — but the installation of equipment does affect the breadth of involvement necessary to put a sign-stealing process in place.

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The investigation stems from a report in November in The Athletic, a sports news website, in The MLB investigation found that at the start of the 2017 season, employees in the Astros video replay Who else will be disciplined ? Many players interviewed admitted they knew the scheme was wrong

Harsh discipline for Astros GM Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch remain in play. Center fielder Luis Robert, left fielder/DH Eloy Jimenez, and third baseman Yoan Moncada form the beating heart of that core, and second baseman Nick Madrigal seems primed to join them.

At least one witness told Martino that many teams use a similar camera for the decoding of signs. Said the witness: “All we asked for was a live feed.” Astros hitting coach Alex Cintron played the part of antagonist as the conflict escalated between the Astros and Yankees during the ALCS, though as of right now, it’s unclear who might expect discipline beyond GM Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch.

Regardless, it does seem that the investigation is progressing and discipline of some sort seems likely.

Now, let’s get back to hot stove action and check in on a couple of clubs:

  • Count the San Diego Padres among those teams more focused on shedding contracts than adding them. GM A.J. Preller’s top priority right now is finding a taker for outfielder Wil Myers, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Jayson Stark. Myers is due $22.5M per year for the next three seasons, with a $20M team option for 2023 that comes with a $1M buyout. That’s a steep payout for a 29-year-old corner outfielder/first baseman who put up just 96 wRC+ last season. The Padres are also looking to move catcher Austin Hedges, who is set to make roughly $2.9M next season and has two more arbitration seasons remaining.
  • For the second straight offseason, the Padres continue to talk with the Indians about pitcher Corey Kluber, tweets MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, though a deal on that front before spring training seems unlikely. The Padres reportedly remain curious about Dallas Keuchel and Madison Bumgarner as well, but a deal for any top pitcher seems unlikely unless they find a taker for Myers — which in and of itself presents Preller with a sizable challenge.
  • Outfilder Charlie Culberson has had a couple of major-league offers, but none significant enough to outweigh the appeal of returning to Atlanta, according to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. The fan base in Atlanta is quite fond of Culberson, a dirt dog and Atlanta native who plays all over the diamond for manager Brian Snitker. The minor- league deal enables the Braves to utilize Culberson’s 40-man roster spot, while incentives in the deal give Culberson similar earning potential to what he’d seen in other offers.
  • Outside of occasional pop, Culberson doesn’t offer a ton with the bat, but he’s a decent base runner and plays everywhere on the diamond except catcher and center field. If nothing else, seeing Culberson return in a Braves uniform would be a heartwarming moment for fans after a brutal injury ended Culberson’s 2019 season. On a failed bunt attempt at Nats Park on Sept. 15, Culberson took a Fernando Rodney fastball to the face that led to a fractured cheekbone.

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Hero or snitch: Baseball has mixed feelings towards whistleblower Mike Fiers

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And when we discipline in a situation like this, we discipline Expect MLB to prioritize the Astros investigation —it is now under enormous pressure as the baseball world Additionally, Schwartz points out that with HOPE-B progressing as planned, QURE has continued its manufacturing

Vigoa told investigators that he assumed Luhnow knew the program would be used in live games. What did he think other players would feel like when he says they only talked during the investigation because they were granted immunity by the commisioner?

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