Ex-Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and former Astros manager AJ Hinch will fulfill their one-season suspensions for the team’s sign-stealing scandal even if no baseball is played in 2020.

One-year bans were given to Hinch and Luhnow and subsequently fired in January following an investigation by Major League Baseball that confirmed the Astros had cheated by using a camera-based sign-stealing system during the regular season and playoffs of their World Series-winning 2017 season and during part of the 2018 regular season. Then MLB commissioner Rob Manfred’s decision stated that both punishments end “following the completion of the 2020 World Series.” MLB said in January that further violations by Hinch and Luhnow would result in them being placed on MLB’s permanently ineligible list.


Due to the actions of both Luhnow and Hinch, the Astros organization will be punished as well. Along with the punishments for Hinch and Luhnow, the Astros also lost their first- and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021 and were fined $5 million. The only upside is that Manfred said in January that he would not strip the Astros of their World Series title.

Last month, MLB announced that Opening Day had been pushed back to mid-May at the earliest because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The league and players’ union also negotiated terms in March for the conditions needed for a return to play, with both sides expressing a willingness to stretch the season late into the 2020 calendar year if needed.