One result of the sign-stealing controversy for the Houston Astros is the need for a new manager after AJ Hinch was fired, and they reportedly see Chicago Cubs third base coach Will Venable as a candidate.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Cubs will reportedly grant permission to the Astros to interview Venable and "would not stand in [the] way" despite the poor timing with Spring Training around the corner.
Venable is part of what is shaping up to be a crowded manager search for the Astros. Mark Berman of Fox 26 reported Joe Espada, Jeff Banister, Dusty Baker, Buck Showalter, Bruce Bochy and Raul Ibanez have all been seen as candidates at some point.
Whoever manages the Astros will have a loaded roster at his disposal in 2020 even with the sign-stealing controversy looming over the organization. Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, George Springer, Carlos Correa, Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke anchor what should be a World Series contender.
Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were fired after they were each suspended for one year as part of the punishments for the sign stealing. Houston was also fined $5 million and stripped of its first- and second-round picks in the 2020 and 2021 drafts.