Major League Baseball began an investigation into the Houston Astros shortly after allegations that they MLB commissioner Rob Manfred spoke about to the ongoing investigation.were published in a bombshell report by The Athletic last week. On Tuesday,
Manfred told reporters, including ESPN's Jeff Passan, that he has no reason to believe the scandal involves other teams.
As the owners' meetings begin, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred addressed the sign-stealing scandal. A few highlights.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 19, 2019
As to whether other teams are involved as well, he said: "I have no reason to believe it extends beyond the Astros at this point in time.”
In regards to any potential discipline brought upon the Astros, Manfred said that the punishment could go beyond what he has issued in the past. When the Red Sox were in 2017, Manfred . He also added a warning to all 30 MLB clubs, noting that any future violations of sign-stealing with electronic devices will be subject to more serious sanctions, including the possible loss of draft picks.
When asked whether MLB was aware of the Astros' sign-stealing before last week, Manfred told the Houston Chronicle's Chandler Rome: "We have over time monitored various rumors that you hear throughout the industry, made preliminary investigations and tried to satisfy ourselves that we know exactly what was going on. But certainly not with the depth and detail."
Manfred also noted that the league's investigation into the Astros' sign-stealing scheme(s) will encompass the past three years. "We will get to the bottom of what we have out there," Manfred told Rome on Thursday. Manfred, however, did not outline a timetable for the investigation's conclusion.
Rob Manfred declined to reveal a timetable for the "very active and really, really thorough" ongoing investigation against the Astros.— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) November 19, 2019
"Any allegation that relates to a rule violation that could affect the outcome of a game or games is the most serious matter."
It has been more than one week since the initial report came out in which Mike Fiers, a member of the 2017 Astros, detailed the team's sign-stealing scheme, which involved a center-field camera. The story figures to remain one of the most-discussed issues of the offseason.