Heyman: Astros Will Have 'Bad' Year In 2020 After Cheating Scandal

And What Is Going On With The Mookie Betts Trade?

Joe & Evan
February 07, 2020 - 6:08 pm

2020 could be a peculiar year for the Houston Astros.

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There is a bit of a shadow covering the Astros’ upcoming season after the upheaval they’ve experienced this offseason. After a lengthy MLB investigation found the team had engaged in systematic sign-stealing in 2017, both AJ Hinch and Jeff Luhnow were suspended and subsequently fired.

Dusty Baker has come in to do what will be a very tough job following all the drama that has surrounded this franchise.

WFAN baseball insider Jon Heyman joined Evan Roberts and Kim Jones (filling in for Joe Benigno) on Friday, and he predicted that the Astros would fall off significantly this coming season.

“I think there’s going to be tremendous distractions," said Heyman. "The fans of the other teams are going to be relentless. It’s going to be very difficult for them. I do think these players are very talented, and they’ve been great for a number of years, not just the trash can year. … But I expect them to have a bad year this year. I do think that Dusty Baker was the right guy to bring in, but I don’t think he’s going to be able to solve what is a very, very big problem and a major distraction. A pall has been cast over their team.”

The Astros came very close to winning it all again in 2019. Houston went up 3-2 on the Nationals, but the Nats forced a Game 7, which they then won on the road at Minute Maid Park.

If the Astros do struggle this year, it would be a boon to other American League contenders like the Yankees. New York already brought Gerrit Cole in from Houston, and distractions off the field could tip the scales of the matchup even more in the Yankees’ favor.

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Houston hasn’t been forced to vacate the World Series they won in 2017, but questions have arisen whether that championship is now “tainted” by the cheating the team engaged in. Heyman thinks it is.

“I think that the answer is, it’s tainted.”

The big news in baseball this week has been the proposed trade between the Dodgers and the Red Sox that would see Mookie Betts dealt to Los Angeles. The trade has reportedly hit a couple stumbling blocks, but Heyman seemed confident that the blockbuster deal would eventually go through.

“I don’t like to rule anything out, but I’m going to say it’s at least 95% that he ends up a Dodger. They’ve gone too far at this point. It’s not a big enough problem: Mookie Betts’ medicals are fine, as far as we know. I think David Price, we all understood, and the Dodgers did, that he wouldn’t have perfect medicals.”

Click on the audio player above to listen to the full interview with Jon Heyman.