Luhnow and former Astros manager A.J. Hinch were each fired by the Houston Astros after receiving season-long suspensions early in 2020 due to the Astros’ illegally stealing signs in 2017. Also suspended was Alex Cora, who was the bench coach for the 2017 Astros — Cora had managed the Boston Red Sox in 2018 and 2019, but stepped down as BoSox manager when it became clear he would be suspended.
Hinch, who has now been hired as manager of the Detroit Tigers, and Cora, who has been re-hired by the Red Sox, both seemed likely to get back into the game once their suspensions were lifted. Hinch is widely respected around the game and the investigation portrayed him as someone who wasn’t involved in the scheme and discouraged it, though not enough to stop it. Cora, meanwhile, though portrayed as the ringleader (along with Carlos Beltran) of the scheme, seemed like a near-lock to be re-hired by the Red Sox once his suspension was up.
Luhnow, on the other hand, wasn’t a baseball lifer like Hinch and Cora, having been brought in to the St. Louis Cardinals front office from McKinsey. Luhnow was hired away from the Cardinals by the Astros, and while he had success with Houston, he seemed to rub many people in the game the wrong way for a variety of reasons. Luhnow is also a much more difficult hire than Hinch or Cora because a team would presumably only hire Luhnow to run their baseball operations — and the number of owners who are willing to take on Luhnow, given how toxic his reputation is, and how poorly other owners would react, would appear to be slim.
I figured Luhnow would return to business world, where he would likely be able to make more money than he could in baseball, and this suit against the Astros would simply seem to seal his fate. Luhnow has reportedly alleged that he was scapegoated by owner Jim Crane and fired so that Crane could avoid paying Luhnow $22 million in guaranteed compensation.
This suit has reportedly been filed in Harris County District Court — I’m monitoring to see if and when the case shows up in the county records, and when it does, I will update.