Red Sox Rumors: Sign-Stealing Report Expected by End of February

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 14, 2020

ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 21: A detail of The Boston Red Sox logo on a jersey during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on September 21, 2019 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Major League Baseball will reportedly release the results of its investigation into the Boston Red Sox's alleged sign-stealing system used during the 2018 season by the end of February.

Jon Heyman of the MLB Network reported the update Friday.

In January, Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic reported the Red Sox were accused of illegally using their video-replay room to analyze and decode opponents' signs.

"It's cheating," an unnamed member of the 2018 Red Sox told The Athletic. "Because if you're using a camera to zoom in on the crotch of the catcher, to break down the sign system, and then take that information and give it out to the runner, then he doesn't have to steal it."

MLB announced the investigation the same day the report was released.

The allegations against the Red Sox were brought forth just as the league wrapped up its probe into the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal, which focused on the 2017 season. Both clubs won the World Series in the years being investigated.

Houston forfeited its first- and second-round picks in the 2020 and 2021 drafts and received a $5 million fine, the maximum allowed under the league's constitution. General manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch each received a one-year suspension and were fired by the organization.

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No players were punished for the Astros' scheme, which used an outfield camera and a monitor in the walkway between the dugout and the clubhouse. Signs were then relayed to hitters through the use of loud noises, such as banging on a trash can.

Heyman noted Friday that the allegations against the Red Sox are not considered to be as severe as those faced by the Astros. 

The Red Sox and former manager Alex Cora, who joined the club for the 2018 season after spending the 2017 campaign as the Astros' bench coach, mutually parted ways in mid-January.

Ron Roenicke was named the club's interim manager Tuesday as part of a whirlwind stretch that also featured the team trading superstar outfielder Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Boston plays its first Spring Training game next Saturday against the Tampa Bay Rays, and the MLB investigation should end well before it starts the regular season (March 26 vs. the Toronto Blue Jays).