The Houston Astros have been the most talked about team in baseball these last four months and not for a good reason. Mike Fiers blew the whistle in November and outed the Astros as illegal sign-stealers during their 2017 World Series championship season. MLB investigated and later disciplined the Astros, though more details have since come to light.

In his nine-page report detailing the investigation, commissioner Rob Manfred named only one 2017 Astros player as complicit in the sign-stealing scheme: Carlos Beltran. Beltran and Alex Cora, then Houston's bench coach, were identified as ringleaders in the team's illegal sign-stealing system. Here's what Manfred said about Beltran in his report:

Approximately two months into the 2017 season, a group of players, including Carlos Beltrán, discussed that the team could improve on decoding opposing teams' signs and communicating the signs to the batter. Cora arranged for a video room technician to install a monitor displaying the center field camera feed immediately outside of the Astros' dugout.

Beltran, a nine-time All-Star, was in the final season of his career in 2017. At the very least, he deserves serious Hall of Fame consideration, and for better or worse veteran players of Beltran's stature tend to rule the clubhouse. When a player like that is running an elaborate sign-stealing scheme, it's difficult for young players to speak out if they feel uncomfortable.

According to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal and and Evan Drellich, Beltran was asked by veteran catcher Brian McCann to put an end to the sign-stealing scheme on at least one occasion, but was rebuffed. From Rosenthal:

During the season, small groups of Astros discussed their misgivings. McCann at one point approached Beltrán and asked him to stop, two members of the 2017 team said.

"He disregarded it and steamrolled everybody," one of the team members said. "Where do you go if you're a young, impressionable player with the Astros and this guy says, 'We're doing this'? What do you do?"

McCann, a respected veteran like Beltran, had been teammates with Beltran with the Yankees from 2014-16 before reuniting with the Astros in 2017. They had a long-standing relationship and, considering Jose Altuve was not yet an MVP and Justin Verlander did not join the team until late August, McCann was the Astros player best positioned to ask Beltran to stop stealing signs.

Listen to former Miami Marlins president David Samson break down the latest wrinkle in the Astros sign-stealing saga on Wednesday's episode of Nothing Personal with David Samson.

Data collected by Astros fan Tony Adams found Beltran was among the Astros players who received the most signs via the trash can banging system in 2017. McCann was on the other opposite end of the spectrum. He was among the Astros who received the fewest. If nothing else, that reinforces the report that McCann was not all-in on the scheme.

The Mets named Beltran their new manager in November, but the two sides parted ways last month after Manfred's report named Beltran as a central figure in Houston's sign-stealing scheme.