Multiple MLB teams reportedly held suspicions about cheating within the Houston Astros organization for years.
According to The Washington Post's Barry Svrluga and Dave Sheinin, an MLB executive estimated that "10 to 12" teams had reached out to the league about the Astros before the sign-stealing investigation that led to general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch's getting suspended from MLB and fired. The number was reportedly corroborated by another executive.
“The whole industry knows they’ve been cheating their a---- off for three or four years,” an executive from a team that faced the Astros in the playoffs during that time said. “Everybody knew it.”
Ahead of the 2019 World Series, the Nationals were contacted by teams that knew of Houston's sign-stealing, the Post reports. Once the matchup with the Astros was confirmed, people throughout MLB reportedly reached out to Nationals players to let them know that the Astros were cheating.
“It was amazing, once [it was assured] we were playing the Astros, how many people were coming out of the woodwork to let us know what they were doing," one Nationals player told the Post.
In addition, Nationals second baseman Brian Dozier reportedly received advice from many of his former Dodgers teammates, who fell to the Astros in the 2017 World Series. Pitcher Max Scherzer also reached out to former Astros reliever Tony Sipp, who reportedly confirmed that the Nationals needed to be cognizant of Houston's sign-stealing "even with no runners on base."
Former player Carlos Beltrán, who won the World Series with the Astros in 2017, reportedly played the "godfather" role in Houston's sign-stealing scheme. Beltrán parted ways with the Mets after being named manager in November, and former Red Sox manager Alex Cora also left Boston following MLB's report on his involvement as a bench coach for the Astros.