Report: Jeff Luhnow sues Astros for breach of contract

Former GM claims Jim Crane negotiated Astros sign stealing punishment with Rob Manfred
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By SportsRadio 610

Former Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow is suing the team for breach of contract, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday night.

Luhnow, who was fired by the Astros for cause in January following Major League Baseball's investigation into the club's sign stealing scheme, alleges Astros owner Jim Crane negotiated the team's punishment with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, making him a scapegoat for something he claimed to know nothing about.

The Astros were fined $5 million and forfeited four draft picks as a punishment, while Luhnow and former Astros manager A.J. Hinch were suspended for the 2020 season. Crane fired both hours after the punishments were made public.

The suit, which was filed in Texas district court in Houston says “The commissioner vetted potential penalties with Crane, and the two exchanged a series of proposals. Those negotiations proved beneficial to Crane and the Astros.

"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."

According to the lawsuit, the Astros alleged breach of contract cost Luhnow more than $22 million after he signed a contract in 2018 that guaranteed him “more than $31 million.”