As Major League Baseball launches its investigation into the Astros’ sign stealing, the question for the Red Sox remains: What did Alex Cora know?
Cora served as Houston’s bench coach in 2017 — when the Astros won the World Series — before getting tapped by Boston to become Red Sox general manager.
It’s the same season that Houston used a television camera to spot catchers’ signs and relayed the information to hitters by banging on garbage cans, according to former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers.
On Wednesday, the Athletic reported that new Mets manager Carlos Beltran — who was on the Astros’ roster in 2017 — and Cora, along with Astros manager AJ Hinch, “played a key role’’ in creating the sign-stealing system.
The Astros released a statement saying that the team will, in cooperation with MLB, begin an investigation into the allegations.
Cora, when reached by the Boston Globe, refused to comment on the situation.
“At this time MLB and the Astros are conducting an investigation,’’ he said. “It would be irresponsible on my part to comment while it’s going on.’’
Chaim Bloom, recently hired as chief baseball officer for the Red Sox, also declined to comment when asked on Wednesday at the GM meetings.
“Given that Major League Baseball obviously oversees that, we’re going to just let them do what they need to do and handle it as they see fit,’’ Bloom said. “It’s not really our place to comment on it.’’
This controversy is the latest in a string for the Astros, known as baseball’s least-trusted team. In 2018, the Red Sox introduced multiple signs in August in preparation for the playoffs, and used them in the American League Championship Series against Houston. Last month, the Nationals and the Yankees went on the record about how they tried to stop Houston from stealing signs in the playoffs.
And those comments came on the heels of the firing of assistant general manager Brandon Taubman, who profanely mocked three female reporters about the acquisition of pitcher Roberto Osuna, who had been suspended for violating the MLB’s domestic violence policy.