The Houston Astros had their sign-stealing plan that was simultaneously high-tech (using cameras to steal signs) and low tech (banging on a trash can to alert a hitter that a certain pitch was coming) snuffed out, and should expect a hefty penalty in the coming weeks once the MLB concludes its investigation. How Rob Manfred chooses to punish the Astros will reverberate through the decades, as it'll set a precedent for years to come.
Here are three punishments that Manfred can decree to embarrass the Astros.
3. Dock Them on the International Signing Market
The likes of Jose Altuve and Yuli Gurriel wouldn't be on the Astros if not for the international market, which is becoming more and more vital in building a dynasty with each passing year. The Astros have done well to pick up both prized stars and hoard diamonds in the rough, but a major fine that takes away money from the international pool could hamper Houston's prosperous farm system and MLB roster.
2. Take Away Draft Picks
The Astros built their championship team on the backs of some solid drafting, especially when they selected players like Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman right at the very top of their respective draft classes. Taking away some of Houston's coveted first-round picks will deal a major blow to their overall depth, as they could lack the pieces to sustain their title push for the foreseeable future.
1. Force Them to Fire Anyone Involved in the Scheme
This whole situation wasn't one or two team employees going rogue. This was a concerted, carefully calculated operation that helped the Astros win their first World Series. The front office was caught with their hand in the cookie jar, and allowing whoever thought up the idea or created the sign-stealing plan should be out of a job yesterday. It's cheating, plain and simple, and extremely brazen cheating at that.