The dust surrounding the Astros’ cheating scandal is settling. But the fallout of the scandal is still trickling down. Several names have either stepped down or been fired, including Astros manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow. The active players, however, are apparently in the clear. Some still wonder if the fallout will eventually affect Jose Altuve.
What happened with this cheating scandal?
The scandal began on November 12, 2019, when journalists Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich published a story at The Athletic. The article implied that the Astros had been involved in an elaborate scheme to steal pitching signals and relay them to batters by banging on a trash can lid. It sounded like something out of a Hollywood movie, with cameras, sneaky maneuvers, buzzers, tattoos, and a whole lot of intrigue.
Although the story was a huge bombshell, it wasn’t until two months later that everything came full circle. After a two-month investigation, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred brought down the hammer on Hinch, Luhnow, and several others involved with the team at the time.
Carlos Beltran, who was supposed to be a first-time manager with the Mets, lost his job before he got it. Alex Cora lost his job as Red Sox manager, too.
The long-term effects of the scandal may take years to figure out. The league is already warning other pitchers across the league to refrain from beanballs, and several players are speaking out against participants in the scandal.
Save for Beltran, who retired after the Astros’ win, no active players were punished, although this could change. In its current state, players like Altuve can breathe a sigh of relief.
What will happen to Jose Altuve?
According to many reports, Manfred didn’t punish players as a means to get information from them. A lot of what came out in his nine-page assessment came from the mouths of players in exchange for immunity. But this doesn’t mean everyone is in the clear regarding the court of public opinion.
Players like Altuve, who won the MVP award the same year the Astros won the World Series, have taken a hit to their reputations. This was proven when Aaron Judge publicly stated his disdain for everyone involved in the scandal. This did not end in baseball. NBA star LeBron James went on the record with his disgust.
Altuve may have to deal with criticism and on-field trash talk in future seasons. He may have to dodge pitches that are a little bit too close for comfort when he’s up to bat. Being labeled a cheater may be punishment enough, but fortunately for Altuve, it won’t affect his pocketbook.
Will this affect Altuve’s pay and net worth?
Had the punishment affected the pay of the players, it would not have come at a worse time for Altuve. In March 2018, the second baseman signed a five-year, $151 million extension with the Astros that began in 2020. Had Altuve gotten the same suspension as the managers, he would have lost $29 million in pay.
By granting the players immunity and punishing only those in charge, however, Manfred leveraged the information they had and saved the players from further scrutiny. The commissioner believes the lingering aftermath will be punishment enough, reports ESPN.
Entering his first year of the new contract, Altuve’s net worth is already at $20 million, but this will increase greatly as he begins his new contract this coming season. Whether Altuve has to pay for years to come in other ways, however, is up to players and coaches.
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