The Astros have been under investigation for illegally using a camera to steal signs from catchers to pitchers during the 2017 regular season.
The club won the World Series in 2017 and they have now been hit with significant sanctions by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred.
Manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow have both been given one-year suspensions without pay - and subsequently fired - while the club has been fined the maximum allowable amount of $5m and lost their first and second round draft picks in 2020 and 2021.
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"I find that the conduct of the Astros, and its senior baseball operations executives, merits significant discipline," Manfred said as part of the nine-page ruling.
"I base this finding on the fact that the club's senior baseball operations executives were given express notice in September 2017 that I would hold them accountable for violations of our policies covering sign stealing, and those individuals took no action to ensure that the club's players and staff complied with those policies during the 2017 postseason and the 2018 regular season.
"The conduct described herein has caused fans, players, executives at other MLB clubs, and members of the media to raise questions about the integrity of games in which the Astros participated. And while it is impossible to determine whether the conduct actually impacted the results on the field, the perception of some that it did causes significant harm to the game."
Hinch's suspension is the longest for an MLB manager since Pete Rose accepted a lifetime ban in 1989.
The commissioner's report revealed no evidence that Astros owner Jim Crane was aware of the sign stealing.
"Neither one of them started this, but neither one did anything about it," said Crane regarding Hinch and Luhnow. “We need to move forward with a clean slate."
Former bench coach Alex Cora was identified as the mastermind of the scheme. Cora, now the manager of the Boston Red Sox, was not disciplined, but the report indicates he could still face penalties when MLB concludes its investigation into allegations of sign stealing by the Red Sox in 2018.
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