The Houston Astros have been accused of egregious sign stealing and could face substantial repercussions, but their former ace Gerrit Cole said he never saw anything illegal.
Cole was formally introduced by the Yankees Wednesday morning after signing a nine-year contract, reportedly worth $324 million. Following the press conference, Cole met with reporters and was asked whether or not the Astros cheated.
"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),” Cole said.
Major League Baseball is currently investigating the Astros alleged electronic sign-stealing, which may have assisted them in winning the 2017 World Series, a team Cole was not part of.
Because of the DH, Cole was not a player that would potentially benefit from the alleged sign stealing, but if it was a commonly used tactic, he may have been aware of it.
“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."
According to former Houston pitcher, Mike Fiers, the Astros used cameras, monitors and other electronic devices to steal and transmit opposing teams’ signs. Fiers was a member of Houston’s 2017 World Series team, but Major League Baseball’s investigation also includes the 2018 and 2019 Astros.
Cole was acquired by the Astros in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates prior to the 2018 season.