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MLB Confirms No Evidence of Wearable Devices in Astros Probe Amid Viral Videos

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 17, 2020

Houston Astros' Yordan Alvarez, Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve huddle after Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Washington Nationals Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. The Nationals won 6-2 to win the series. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

In the eyes of Major League Baseball, members of the Houston Astros did not wear electronic devices to help them steal signs from opposing pitchers. 

On Thursday, the league confirmed it "explored wearable devices during the investigation [into the Astros] but found no evidence to substantiate it," per Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com. The investigation went as far as to see if players were wearing the concealed devices to notify them of the type of pitch during the 2019 campaign.

The notion members of the Astros were doing just that picked up steam on social media Thursday when a person claiming to be Carlos Beltran's niece alleged Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman wore the buzzers under their jerseys.

However, ESPN's Marly Rivera spoke to the Beltran family, who said the individual was not the former New York Mets manager's niece.

Altuve released a statement through his agent, Scott Boras, saying he did not wear the electronic device, per the New York Post's Joel Sherman:

Joel Sherman @Joelsherman1

Reach out to Scott Boras about his client Jose Altuve: “When this came up today, Jose Altuve immediately contacted me and this is his statement: ‘I have never worn an electronic device in my performance as a major league player.’” #Astros

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Joel Sherman @Joelsherman1

More Boras: "(Altuve) has never been involved in any information with the use of an electornic device that is triggered during the course of the game."

Social media users circulated footage of Altuve telling his teammates not to rip his jersey off after he hit a walk-off home run against the New York Yankees in the 2019 American League Championship Series, fueling speculation he wanted to further conceal the buzzer:

MLB @MLB

ALTUVE SENDS THE @ASTROS TO THE #WORLDSERIES! https://t.co/NYx1yzRFDY

Sherman noted Boras said, "that is the shyness of Jose Altuve" when explaining why the six-time All-Star did not want his teammates to rip his jersey off.

The sign-stealing scandal surrounding the Astros has dominated headlines in the baseball world. As Gonzalez pointed out, former Astros manager AJ Hinch, former Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow, Beltran and former Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora all lost their jobs as a result. Hinch and Luhnow were also suspended by MLB for one year.

Beltran was a player on the 2017 Astros World Series championship team that was determined to have used electronic means to steal signs, while Cora was the bench coach.

Houston was also fined $5 million and lost its first- and second-round draft picks for 2020 and 2021.

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