NEW YORK -- Wednesday afternoon, the New York Yankees introduced their new ace, Gerrit Cole, with a press conference at Yankee Stadium. New York gave Cole a record nine-year contract worth $324 million. It is the richest pitching contract in history.
During a chat with reporters after the press conference Cole was asked point blank whether the Astros, his former team, was cheating during his two years in Houston. MLB is currently investigating the Astros over alleged electronic sign-stealing schemes. Here's what Cole had to say about his time in Houston:
"I didn't see anything. I've heard everything you guys have written about and I've read it, but I did not see anything illegal in any way. The gamesmanship in terms of the game on the field -- tipping and all that kind of stuff -- that's been going on (for a long time) ... I didn't see anything illegal and I haven't been questioned by MLB because I really wasn't involved. I'm kind of on the outside of it."
The investigation into the Astros started when Mike Fiers, a member of the 2017 Astros, blew the whistle last month. Fiers alleges the Astros had a camera fixated on the opposing catcher's signs -- something the club reportedly has since admitted -- which were relayed in real time to a monitor in the tunnel between the clubhouse and dugout. Someone then banged a garbage can to relay the signs to the hitter.
Cole joined the Astros in a January 2018 trade with the Pirates. He was not a member of the 2017 club, however MLB's investigation will include the 2018 and 2019 Astros. It seems the investigation will go into the new year and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred touted its thoroughness at last week's Winter Meetings.