Astros continue to get special treatment from MLB, approved to sign Justin Verlander

Oct 23, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) throws against
Oct 23, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) throws against / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

When the Astros were caught participating in the biggest cheating scandal in sports history two offseasons ago, they received such minimal punishment that it felt like more of a joke than a punishment.

The only punishment that the LA Angels' AL West Division rival received is listed here:

  • 1-year suspensions for Manager A.J. Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow
  • $5 million fine
  • Stripped of first- and second-round picks for 2020 and 2021

It was an incredibly light punishment, and would appear that Rob Manfred has some sort of soft spot for Houston. That soft spot was confirmed on Monday, when Manfred let the Astros sign Justin Verlander during an MLB lockout.

If only the LA Angels were given the special treatment that the Astros have been awarded.

Nobody, not even just the LA Angels, would have gotten away with what the Houston Astros just got away with. No team is allowed to sign anybody during the MLB lockout, correct? Well, when you're the Houston Astros, anything is possible.

So because the contract was SUBMITTED, but not at all finished, it's now allowed to be approved and signed?

How many other contracts would be done by now if this treatment was being approved for every team? General Managers and players all over the league would have been submitting contracts to the league just before the lockout. Remember how many players were actively negotiating with GM's all over the league just before the lockout, but couldn't finish deals due to the lockout?

If there was a holdup in the language of his contract, how could the deal have been successfully submitted? How would that make this deal any different than other deals players and teams were trying to work out?

Unfortunately, we will never know. This is yet another example of the league going easy on the Astros.

Next. Grading the offseason so far. dark

Looks like it clearly may not even have mattered if they re-signed Verlander or anyone. The league would find a way to help them win regardless.