Yankees' Brian Cashman Says He Had 'Been Suspicious' of Astros Sign-Stealing

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 24, 2020

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman listens as Gerrit Cole is introduced as the newest New York Yankees player during a baseball media availability, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019 in New York. The pitcher agreed to a 9-year $324 million contract. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Mark Lennihan/Associated Press

Count New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman among those who weren't exactly shocked when Major League Baseball found that the Houston Astros illegally used technology to steal signs in 2017.

According to Bradford William Davis of the New York Daily News, Cashman said on YES Network that he had "long been suspicious" of the Astros, adding: "We've done our due diligence and tried to do everything we could, and have done everything we can to try to protect our signs as much as possible. We've continued to evolve over the course of time because of you know, concerns."

Manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended one year each by MLB for their role in the sign-stealing scandal and were subsequently fired by the Astros.

MLB confirmed the Astros used the sign-stealing system throughout their run to the first World Series championship in franchise history in 2017. That included the American League Championship Series, which saw Houston beat the Yankees in seven games.

The home team won each game in that series, which lends some credence to the theory that sign stealing played a significant role in the Astros' triumph.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone believes MLB is taking the necessary steps to ensure that illegal sign stealing is not part of the game moving forward: "[The penalties] will get us to a point where we have a much cleaner, more, much more fair game between the lines. And that's where we want things decided anyway."

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The fallout from the investigation into sign stealing is far from over, with MLB also looking into a system the Boston Red Sox used in 2018 en route to winning the World Series.

Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic reported that the Red Sox illegally used their replay room to steal signs during the 2018 season. Boston beat the Yankees in the American League Division Series that season, although there is no evidence that the system was used during the playoffs.

The Red Sox have already parted ways with manager Alex Cora, who was a bench coach with the Astros in 2017 who helped devise their sign-stealing system.

With the Astros and Red Sox in disarray, all signs point toward the Yankees being the odds-on favorites to represent the AL in the World Series next year.

On the heels of losing in six games to the Astros in the 2019 ALCS, the Yanks signed former Astros ace Gerrit Cole, giving them a top-flight pitching staff to go along with arguably the best lineup in baseball.