Former Houston Astros outfielder Marwin Gonzalez became the first position player from the 2017 Astros team to publicly apologize for the club's sign-stealing scandal. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Current Minnesota Twins utility man Marwin Gonzalez became the first position player from the 2017 Houston Astros team to publicly apologize for the club's illegal sign-stealing scheme.
Gonzalez, who is entering his second season with the Twins, told reporters Tuesday at the team's spring training facility in Fort Myers, Fla., that he was "remorseful" for the Astros' actions in the 2017 campaign.
"I'm here to tell how I feel and just that I'm remorseful for everything that happened in 2017," Gonzalez said. "Everything that we did as a group. And the players that were affected directly by us doing this and other things. That's what I feel the most regret over, and I am remorseful."
Major League Baseball announced last month that a league investigation confirmed the Astros cheated during the regular season and postseason of their World Series-winning 2017 campaign.
According to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, the Astros used a camera-based system to steal signs of opposing teams during the 2017 season and parts of the 2018 campaign.
The sign-stealing scandal led to the suspension and subsequent firing of Astros manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow. The organization was also fined a record $5 million and had multiple draft picks taken away.
The Astros hired Dusty Baker on Jan. 29 to replace Hinch. Houston added former Tampa Bay Rays executive James Click to take the place of Luhnow.
Gonzalez said it's "hard to say" how much the scandal impacts the legacy of the 2017 Astros team.
"It's hard to speculate," Gonzalez said. "I still think we had one of the best teams in the last decade ... great talent. ... You just have to play ball. That's hard to know; you're never going to know. That was a great team, great guys too. It's hard to answer that question."
Gonzalez set career highs in batting average (.303), hits (138), home runs (23) and RBIs (90) in the 2017 season. He batted .264 with 15 homers and 55 RBIs in his first season with the Twins last year.
Last month, former Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel was the first non-position player to offer a public apology for the cheating scandal.