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Former GM Jeff Luhnow sues Houston Astros after sign-stealing scandal

Former GM Jeff Luhnow sues Houston Astros after sign-stealing scandal
Former Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow alleges that his firing was through a "negotiated resolution" between Astros owner Jim Crane (pictured) and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred that allowed the Astros to retain their 2017 World Series title. File Photo by Aaron M. Sprecher/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Former Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow filed a lawsuit against his former team Monday for firing him over the club's sign-stealing scandal.

In the suit, which was filed in Harris County (Texas) District Court, Luhnow accused Astros owner Jim Crane and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred of making him the "scapegoat for the organization" after the team's sign-stealing scheme came to light.

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Luhnow, who is seeking more than $22 million in the suit, alleges that his firing was through a "negotiated resolution" between Crane and Manfred that allowed the Astros to retain their 2017 World Series title and save more than $22 million in guaranteed salary.

According to the filing, Luhnow was still owed $22 million in guaranteed salary at the time of his firing from a contract he signed in May 2018. The former Astros executive is seeking restitution that includes that remaining compensation owed, along with attorney fees and court costs. He is also seeking a jury trial.

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Luhnow's attorneys allege in the suit that MLB's investigation of the Astros' sign-stealing operation was "deeply flawed," and there was "no credible evidence" that Luhnow was aware of it. They also noted that "the video room employees who conceived and orchestrated the sign-stealing system remained employed by the club throughout the 2020 season."

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The Astros fired Luhnow and former manager A.J. Hinch in January when the results of the league's probe were released. Luhnow and Hinch were suspended for one season, with the suspensions ending after the World Series last month. Hinch has since been hired as the manager of the Detroit Tigers.

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