From 2011 to '13, the Houston Astros averaged 108 losses per season. Then they had seasons of 70, 86 and 84 wins before breaking out for 101 victories and a World Series title in 2017.
We know now that championship might have come with controversy, though.
A's pitcher Mike Fiers, who was on the Astros' championship team, told The Athletic in November that Houston used a camera in center field to relay signs during that championship season. While the Astros have been relatively quiet as MLB investigates the situation, shortstop Carlos Correa recently reacted to Fiers' comments.
“He’s a grown man, and he can do whatever he wants to do. It’s a free country,” Correa said at an autograph show, via The Houston Chronicle. “Knowing Fiers, it was surprising, because we were a team. We were a team. We were all together, and we had a bond, and we won a World Series championship.
"But this is America, the land of the free. You can say what you want to say.”
Fiers had a 5.22 ERA -- his highest since 2013 -- with the Astros in '17 and didn't pitch in the postseason. Correa had a much different campaign.
The former No. 1 overall draft pick enjoyed his first All-Star season. He hit a career-high .315 and his 24 homers still are the most in his five-year career. Correa also hit .276 with two long balls against the Dodgers in the World Series.
A's executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane spoke on the Astros sign-stealing scandal at the MLB Winter Meetings and made it clear how serious he takes Fiers' allegations.
“If true, it certainly would have had a huge impact on us as much as anybody,” Beane said. “It would be extremely disappointing and you’d hope that Major League Baseball would do something to make sure that never happens again.”
With spring training slightly over one month away, this story certainly isn't going anywhere.