Dallas Keuchel addressed the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal Friday. The former Astros starter appeared in front of the press in Chicago at the annual Sox Fest convention and apologized for the cheating ploy.
"It's just what the state of baseball was at that point in time," Keuchel said, per the Chicago Sun Times' Madeline Kenney. "Was it against the rules? Yes it was. And I personally am sorry for what's come about the whole situation."
A Cy Young winner in 2015, Keuchel joined the Chicago White Sox on a three-year, $55.5 million deal at the end of December, a few weeks before MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred unveiled details of the scandal in a nine-page report.
Keuchel's comments may raise some eyebrows across the league—especially as MLB continues to investigate the Boston Red Sox for allegedly using the video replay room to learn opponents' signs during their World Series-winning 2018 season, per The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich.
It may also explain why some players have directed ire toward former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers—who blew the whistle on the operation. The league has not announced investigations into other teams at this time.
When asked about Fiers, Keuchel called it a "tough subject."
The 32-year-old left-hander also said that the Astros weren't cheating every game. Nonetheless, damage has been done to the Houston organization—which lost four draft picks as part of its punishment—along with the reputations of former managers Alex Cora, AJ Hinch, Carlos Beltran, among others, and the integrity of baseball.
Keuchel expects more players will issue their own apologies soon. In one of the more controversial moves of Manfred's investigation, the commissioner granted immunity to players who spoke truthfully about the sign-stealing scheme.
Astros owner Jim Crane noted the team would have more to say after spring training opens next month.
Keuchel added that advanced technology should be used by all teams or none of them at all.
Given how secretive professional sports teams are known to be, that may be a pipe dream. However, it's one baseball will need to consider as it looks to restore trust in the game.