With the Astros already assumed guilty of cheating, what will be the results?

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HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 17: President of Baseball Operations and General Manager of the Houston Astros Jeff Luhnow addresses the media prior to the Game Four of the American League Championship Series against the Boston Red Sox at Minute Maid Park on October 17, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 17: President of Baseball Operations and General Manager of the Houston Astros Jeff Luhnow addresses the media prior to the Game Four of the American League Championship Series against the Boston Red Sox at Minute Maid Park on October 17, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 27: AJ Hinch #14 of the Houston Astros returns to the dugout after a mound visit against the Washington Nationals during the seventh inning in Game Five of the 2019 World Series at Nationals Park on October 27, 2019, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 27: AJ Hinch #14 of the Houston Astros returns to the dugout after a mound visit against the Washington Nationals during the seventh inning in Game Five of the 2019 World Series at Nationals Park on October 27, 2019, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

It’s that time of year. The “Hot Stove” season is here and free agency is alive and well. Over 100 players are on the market and teams are scrambling to fill their needs. Every franchise has members of their front office contacting players and their agents. They’ll be negotiating salaries and trying to sell their organizations to players in their attempt to convince them their team is where they belong.

The Astros have eight players of their own up for grabs. Two starting pitchers, including Gerrit Cole, four relievers and both of their starting catchers from last season have all declared themselves as free agents. So, needless to say, the Astros have a lot of holes to fill themselves.

But with a dark cloud hanging over Houston and the media already pounding the gavel, I wonder if all of this could possibly have any bearing on a player’s decision on which uniform to don in 2020.

Would a player want to sign with a team when there is so much uncertainty about the future? If there are some suspensions doled out, they could be playing for a different manager or coach than they envisioned.

Do they want to wear the uniform of a team with a tarnished reputation? And I’m sorry, but whether they’re found guilty or not, a stain has already been cast on them that will take a while to wash out.

These and many other questions and concerns could weigh on a player’s mind when making a big decision on their career. Some might say it’s just the almighty dollar they’re after and none of this will matter. But I can’t help but think there are quite a few players out there that take a lot more into consideration than a paycheck when it comes to deciding on their future.

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