Houston Astros: Jeff Luhnow sues team for breach of contract
By Dan Shedd
Former Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow sued the team on Sunday, alleging that they breached his contract after the sign stealing scandal.
According to a report by the LA Times, former Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow sued the team on Sunday for breach of contract “because none of the conditions that would be considered as just cause for his dismissal actually occurred”
In the lawsuit, Luhnow claims that Astros owner Jim Crane and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred discussed the penalties for the team in the sign stealing scandal that would paint Lunhow as “the scapegoat for the organization” in order to save money in guaranteed salary, $22 million to be exact.
The lawsuit also claims that in the negotiations between the Astros and Manfred, it was discussed that the team would be able to keep their 2017 World Series championship, but “went to great lengths to publicly exonerate Crane, and scapegoated Luhnow for a sign-stealing scandal that he had no knowledge of and played no part in.”
"The commissioner allowed the Astros to keep their 2017 World Series championship, imposed a $5 million fine (a fraction of the revenues Crane had reaped as part of the team’s recent success), and took away four draft picks. He also issued a blanket vindication of Crane, absolving him of any responsibility for failing to supervise his club.”"
Luhnow claims that in the two-month report released by MLB that they used “selective snippets” from three separate email documents related to the scandal sent out by an employee of the Astros at the time, Tom Koch-Weser, who Luhnow alleges was the real “ring leader” behind the sign stealing scheme. Luhnow also states in the suit that he was “falsely implicated” because the “Astros informed Koch Weser that his actions were ok as long as it was approved by his superiors which included Luhnow.”
KPRC-TV was able to obtain the complete lawsuit, which can be found here
Since the scandal, the Astros have hired James Click from the Tampa Bay Rays to take over for Luhnow. In their first year with Click, the Astros made it within one game of the World Series, losing to Tampa Bay 4-2 in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series.