Plenty has been written in the last few days about Major League Baseball’s findings during its investigation into the Astros and the pending inquiry into the Red Sox, the penalties that were received or will be, and what these punishments say about baseball. The various (and sometimes divergent) constituencies commissioner Rob Manfred had to satisfy made doing so basically impossible; I’ve made it clear how I feel about the punishments. The Astros dismissed Jeff Luhnow and AJ Hinch following their suspension by MLB. The Red Sox mutually parted ways with Alex Cora on Tuesday; Carlos Beltrán and the Mets followed suit Thursday afternoon. It is and will continue to be a dark time for the league.
But even as the ramifications of the scandal continue to make themselves felt, we can look ahead to how we think the Astros baseball operations group might operate going forward. Houston’s baseball ops groups was already on the small side before Luhnow was fired, both by design and as a result of recent departures. In the last year or so, the club has lost Mike Elias, Sig Mejdal, and Eve Rosenbaum to the Orioles, Mike Fast and Ronit Shah to the Braves, and Oz Ocampo to the Pirates. Colin Wyers departed the organization, but hasn’t yet landed with another team. Brandon Taubman was fired before being placed on baseball’s ineligible list; he can apply for reinstatement after this season. And all of that has come against the backdrop of another scouting purge, and a couple of lower-level departures. So what comes next in Houston? Read the rest of this entry »