The news just keeps getting worse for the Houston Astros. Owner Jim Crane has announced the GM Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch have been dismissed.
As a result of the MLB investigation into the Astros sign-stealing investigation, Hinch and Luhnow were given suspensions for the 2020 season. Jim Crane decided to take the discipline one step further and relieve them of their duties.
“There are two very important points I want to make today: I have higher standards for the city and the franchise, and I am going above and beyond MLB’s penalty,” Crane said. “Today, I have made the decision to dismiss AJ Hinch and Jeff Luhnow. We need to move forward with a clean slate, and the Astros will become a stronger organization because of this today.” via Mark Feinsand of MLB.com
Crane will temporarily take over the responsibilities of Luhnow and oversee the baseball operations until a replacement is named. He hinted that the new GM will most likely come from within the organization. Pete Putila, the assistant GM is thought to be the odds on favorite for the position.
Crane added, “Crane on next GM: “It’s a very good job. I think a lot of people would want to come here and step into that position.”
As far as who will step in as the full-time manager, Crane said, “I don’t have an answer yet, but we’ll make it work.” He added that bench coach Joe Espada is very capable considering he has interviewed with several teams for managerial positions.
He acknowledged that Hinch and Luhnow were both aware of what was going on and they failed to do what was necessary to stop it. But, Crane is determined to put this behind the Astros and move on with a “clean slate” and concentrate on what’s at hand, next season.