Astros' Alex Bregman Talks Sign-Stealing Scandal for 1st Time Since MLB's Report

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 18, 2020

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 30:  Alex Bregman #2 of the Houston Astros throws out Anthony Rendon (not pictured) of the Washington Nationals during the first inning in Game Seven of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 30, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman sidestepped several questions Saturday about the MLB report on the club's sign-stealing scheme during the 2017 season.

Bregman repeated on several occasions the same line regarding Commissioner Rob Manfred's findings and the Astros' decision to fire general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch after they received one-year suspensions. He only broke from the script once to call allegations of the team using electronic devices inside their uniforms "stupid." MLB found no evidence to back those claims.

Brian McTaggart of provided the complete exchange with reporters:

Photos posted on social media Thursday caused speculation Bregman and second baseman Jose Altuve wore buzzers inside their jerseys to get alerted about pitches. The rumors gained traction based on video of Altuve refusing to let teammates rip off his jersey after a walk-off home run.

Altuve released a statement Thursday about the situation through agent Scott Boras, per Matt Young of the Houston Chronicle.

"Jose Altuve called me and said he wants it known that he has never, ever worn an electronic device in a major league game—ever," Boras said. "He never received any form—of a trigger or any information—via an electronic product that was on his body or in his uniform. He has never worn any electronic device. Ever."

The scandal has rocked one of MLB's top championship contenders less than a month before the start of spring training. The organization must find a new GM and manager, and questions about the situation will surely dominate much of the exhibition slate.

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Bregman is coming off the best offensive season of his career. He posted a .296/.423/.592 triple-slash line with 41 home runs in 156 games. His 1.015 OPS ranked fifth in baseball, and he rated second among all hitters in WAR (8.5), behind only the Los Angeles Angels' Mike Trout (8.6), per FanGraphs.

The monster season came after he signed a five-year, $100 million contract extension with the Astros in March. The new deal will start in 2020.