Carlos Correa was the first current Astros player to comment extensively on allegations of theft of electronic signs around the team.
The shortstop that won the World Series seemed a bit cheated when former teammate Mike Fiers made the scandal that broke out in November go away. Correa also said he doesn't think the scandal will worsen the team's 2017 World Cup title.
"He's a grown man and can do what he wants. It's a free country," Correa said on Saturday to the Houston Chronicle, where he and his teammates Alex Bregman and George Springer did an autograph show. "It was surprising, Fiers to know, because we were a team. We were a team. We were all together, had a bond and won a World Cup. But this is America, the land of the free. You can say what you want to say. "
Correa referred to the time when Fiers and three other unnamed sources told The Athletic that during the home games at Minute Maid Park this season, the Astros had stolen the opposing teams' signs using an out-of-field camera.
Correa also told the chronicle that he had contact with Major League Baseball.
"It was pretty surprising to wake up to this news (in November)," Correa said of the allegations. "I worked with MLB like we all did so that we could put an end to all this and the talk and go forward."
The Astros is unlikely to move forward as MLB is currently in the middle of an in-depth investigation into the matter.
"I think this is probably the most thorough investigation the Commissioner's office has ever carried out," said Rob Manfred in December of the Astros investigation. "I think we've already interviewed almost 60 witnesses, [read] 76,000 emails, a whole host of additional instant messages. "
Given Fiers' allegations and the video that emerged from a 2017 Astros game against the White Sox, bans and fines, if not worse, appear to be very likely.
"At this point in the investigation, it would be completely inappropriate for me to speculate on what types of discipline might be involved," said Manfred. "I'll have all the facts in mind and make a decision on discipline as soon as possible, and obviously you'll all know about it as soon as it happens."
Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow and Manager A.J. Hinch did not answer numerous inquiries at the winter meetings last month.
"I know that you are probably expecting this, but I cannot comment on it," said Hinch at the winter meetings. "It is an ongoing investigation. What I can say is that I put my time and energy into working with MLB. I have spoken to them a few times and we continue to work with them as they lead the investigation, and now we are waiting with everything in their hands.
"So I know there will still be questions. I hope there will be a day when I can answer further questions, but I know that today is not this day. I know that it will disappoint some people. It will not stop you from asking questions, but I can assure you that I will not answer questions about the ongoing investigation. "
– Additional reporting from Ken Davidoff