Former big-league pitcher Mike Bolsinger filed a civil lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against the Houston Astros on Monday, accusing the franchise of unfair business practices and negligence, among other charges, stemming from their sign-stealing operation, per Nancy Armour of USA Today.
Bolsinger is said to be seeking "unspecified damages," but not just for his own benefit. Per Armour, Bolsinger wants the Astros to forfeit $31 million in bonuses they received from winning the 2017 World Series, with that money being donated to Los Angeles-based charities for children and used to create a fund for "retired baseball players who need financial assistance."
Bolsinger, 32, accumulated 48 appearances in the majors over the course of the 2014-17 seasons, primarily with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He last pitched in the majors for the Toronto Blue Jays on Aug. 4, 2017 against the Astros. Bolsinger didn't fare well: he faced eight batters and permitted four hits and three walks.
Bolsinger believes that performance cost him any chance at a prolonged big-league career. "I was an older guy. They had younger guys to call up," he told Armour. "Let's say that (Astros game) doesn't happen … I probably don't get sent down. But at that point, they probably lost faith in me and were over it."
Bolsinger, who has a career ERA of 4.92 in 48 MLB appearances, didn't receive interest from big-league teams after the 2017 season, and instead found himself overseas, pitching for the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan. He's now a free agent, albeit without much in the way of prospects.
In January, Major League Baseball punished the Astros (but not players) and released commissioner Rob Manfred's report detailing the club's high-tech sign-stealing scheme. More recently, Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal. Previously, the Astros' sign-stealing operation had been described as a "player-driven" endeavor.