Former Astros GM Jeff Luhnow: 'I Am Not A Cheater'

It remains unclear who will replace Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch

Brandon Scott
January 13, 2020 - 4:56 pm

Former Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow released a statement Monday after he was fired saying he was not informed of the misconduct involving sign-stealing. 

The Astros had been under investigation for electronically stealing signs from opponents, particularly in the 2017 season in which they won the World Series.

Major League Baseball announced Monday it would be suspending Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch for the 2020 season, and shortly after, Astros owner Jim Crane announced he was firing them both.

Related: Astros Owner Jim Crane Fires GM Jeff Luhnow, A.J. Hinch

In the statement, Luhnow said he takes responsibility for the rules violations under his watch, but did not take responsibility for the actions. 

"I am not a cheater," the statement says. "Anybody who has worked closely with me during my 32-year career inside and outside baseball can attest to my integrity. I did not know rules were being broken. As the commissioner set out in his statement, I did not personally direct, oversee or engage in any misconduct: The sign-stealing initiative was not planned or directed by basbeall management; the trash-can banging was driven and executed by players, and the video decoding of signs originated and was executed by lower-level employees working with the bench coach. I am deeply upset that I wasn't informed of any misconduct because I would have stopped it."

Manfred, however, actually said there is both documentary and testimonial evidence that indicates Luhnow had some knowledge of the video decoding and transmitting signs, "but he did not give it much attention."

It remains unclear who will replace Luhnow and Hinch.

Related: Jim Crane Had No Choice

The Astros made World Series appearances in two of the past three seasons, winning in 2017 and coming up short in Game 7 in 2019.

In addition to losing Luhnow and Hinch, Houston was fined $5 million and will forfeit their next two first- and second-round draft picks. 

Former bench coach Alex Cora -- now the manager of the Boston Red Sox who won the World Series in 2018 -- is also expected to face a stiff penalty from the league. 

Cora was named in the MLB's investigation report as a key figure in setting up the sign-stealing, saying Cora "was involved in developing both the banging scheme and utilizing the replay review room to decode and transmit signs."

MLB did not punish Cora as part of its release Monday, but the statement from commissioner Rob Manfred says the league will determine Cora's discipline after the conclusion of its investigation into allegations of the Red Sox stealing signs during the 2018 season.

Related: Red Sox Manager Alex Cora Faces ‘Harsh’ Punishment: Report