Dallas Keuchel became the first former or current member of the 2017 Houston Astros to offer a public apology for the team's sign-stealing scandal when speaking at a fan convention for the Chicago White Sox, his current team, on Friday. Here's what he told reporters, courtesy of the Associated Press:

"First and foremost I think apologies should be in order for, if not everybody on the team. It was never intended to be what it is made to be right now. I think when stuff comes out about things that happen over the course of a major-league ball season, it's always blown up to the point of 'Oh, my gosh, this has never happened before.' "

"I'm not going to go into specific detail, but during the course of the playoffs in '17, everybody was using multiple signs. I mean, for factual purposes, when there's nobody on base, when in the history of major league baseball has there been multiple signs? It's just what the state of baseball was at that point and time. Was it against the rules? Yes it was, and I personally am sorry for what's come about, the whole situation. It is what it is, and we've got to move past that. I never thought anything would've come like it did. I, myself, am sorry."

Kechuel, 32, was drafted by the Astros in the seventh round of the 2009 MLB Draft and spent seven seasons (2012-2018) before signing as a free agent with the Braves in June. He finished his abbreviated 2019 season with an 8-8 record and a 3.75 ERA (121 ERA+). This offseason, Keuchel signed a three-year deal with the Chicago White Sox.

Allegations against the Astros illegally using a center-field camera to steal signs and relay the signs in real-time to batters were first brought to light by former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers in a bombshell report from The Athletic. After Major League Baseball's investigation, commissioner Rob Manfred announced punishments for the Astros stemming from the club's alleged sign-stealing scheme in a nine-page report. Astros manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were each suspended a year from baseball, and later fired by Astros owner Jim Crane.

Manfred later said that the league has no plans to vacate the Astros' 2017 title or the Red Sox's 2018 title. Boston is also currently under investigation for an electronic sign-stealing scandal of its own. As a result of the Astros investigation and subsequent report, Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who was heavily implicated in the investigative report on the Astros' cheating scandal, was fired by Boston.

Keuchel pitched the following games during the 2017 World Series run:

  • ALDS Game 2 vs. Boston (8-2 win): 5.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 SO
  • ALCS Game 1 vs. N.Y. Yankees (2-1 win): 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 SO
  • ALCS Game 5 at N.Y. Yankees (5-0 loss): 4.2 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO
  • World Series Game 1 at L.A. Dodgers (3-1 loss): 6.2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO
  • World Series Game 5 vs. L.A. Dodgers (13-12 win): 3.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO

With his public apology, Keuchel becomes the first former or current member of the 2017 team to offer a public apology for the team's sign-stealing scandal. 

Although Keuchel is the first to publicly apologize, he might not be the last in the weeks and months to come. Last week at the Astros' FanFest event, Alex Bregman, usually one of the most outspoken players in the game, didn't have much to say about the club's sign-stealing scandal. Bregman's teammate Jose Altuve, however, was a bit more defiant, declaring the Astros would return to the World Series this coming season. After Altuve and Bregman's comments, Crane said that the players will apologize and ask for forgiveness once they get together for spring training next month.