Bassitt: Teams that illegally steal signs in future should face lifetime ban

Michael Zagaris / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Oakland Athletics starter Chris Bassitt believes the time for wrist-slapping regarding illegal sign-stealing is over.

"I think that aspect is completely gone," the A's right-hander said during an appearance on "The Chris Rose Rotation" when asked if teams are still using technology to steal signs.

"If an organization is dumb enough now to cheat like that and they get caught doing it, it should be lifetime suspensions for everyone involved. I mean, it should be no slap on the wrist, no 'we're going to maybe fine you for a year, suspend you for a year.' It should be a lifetime suspension for everyone involved."

The A's are a division rival of the Houston Astros, who were infamously punished for a sign-stealing scheme involving the use of technology during the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

Mike Fiers, a teammate of Bassitt with the A's, played an integral role in uncovering the scandal, acting as the initial whistleblower during the 2019-20 offseason.

Bassitt, a 2021 All-Star, posted a 3.15 ERA and 3.34 FIP over 157 1/3 innings and was considered a potential AL Cy Young contender before getting sidelined by a comebacker that struck him in the face.

While Bassitt believes future punishments should be harsher than what the Astros were hit with - which amounted to the forfeiture of draft picks and a $5-million fine - he does admit cheating was more pervasive in the league.

"This is not to open up a massive can of worms this kind of thing but, like, Houston was not the only team doing stuff ... There was a lot going on. It was like an arm's race almost."

While sign-stealing is technically allowed - though frowned upon as gamesmanship - the use of technology to steal signs and relay that information to the hitter is prohibited by league rules.

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Bassitt: Teams that illegally steal signs in future should face lifetime ban
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