Report: Yankees Not Implicated in Sign-Stealing Scheme After 2017 Investigation

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVApril 26, 2022

VENICE, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 28: (EDITOR'S NOTE: Image made in monochrome and color version not available)  A detailed view of the New York Yankees batting helmet resting in the dugout during the spring training game against the Atlanta Braves at Cool Today Park on February 28, 2020 in Venice, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Mark Brown/Getty Images

While the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal rocked the Major League Baseball world, a 2017 investigation reportedly revealed the New York Yankees were not involved in a scheme that reached the same levels.

Andy Martino of SNY obtained the "Yankee Letter" that has not yet been publicly unsealed, and it includes details from MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred regarding an investigation into mutual sign-stealing allegations between the Yankees and rival Boston Red Sox.

Most notably, Martino reports "the letter does not implicate the Yankees in a sign-stealing scheme similar to the one for which the Houston Astros were punished, when batters received the signs in real time without the help of a runner on second base."

The situation first picked up steam when the Yankees asked the league to investigate Boston after one of their replay coordinators noticed a Red Sox trainer receiving signs with an Apple Watch in the dugout.

Boston then asked the league to investigate the Yankees for sign-stealing as well.

According to Martino, the Yankee Letter is expected to be publicly unsealed at some point this week after the team lost its final appeal to prevent it from becoming public knowledge.

In addition to the revelation that New York did not match Houston in its sign-stealing scope, the letter says the team was fined $100,000 for using a video-replay room in 2015 and 2016 to break down signs and pass the information to players.

It also cleared the team of using YES Network cameras to steal signs and suggests New York did not participate in any sign-stealing actions after Sept. 15, 2017, when Manfred said there would be harsher penalties for electronic sign-stealing.

Houston received the harshest penalties when it came to sign-stealing.

The league fined the Astros $5 million, stripped them of their first- and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021 and suspended then-general manager Jeff Luhnow and then-manager AJ Hinch for one year.

Houston fired Luhnow and Hinch in the aftermath, and the Red Sox fired manager Alex Cora for his role in the scandal when he was the Astros bench coach.

Boston lost a second-round draft pick in 2020 and saw a video replay monitor suspended for the 2020 campaign as its punishment.