Report: MLB Pushing to Keep Sign-Stealing Investigation Notes out of DFS Lawsuit

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistApril 1, 2020

JUPITER, FL - MARCH 07: A  Houston Astros batting helmet and bat in their dugout during a spring training baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on March 7, 2020 in Jupiter, Florida. The Cardinals defeated the Astros 5-1. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Major League Baseball is doing what it can to keep notes from its investigations into the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox for sign-stealing away from the lawsuit filed by daily fantasy sports contestants.

Evan Drellich of The Athletic reported the news, noting the suit lists MLB, the Astros and the Red Sox as defendants in the case that alleges the sign-stealing altered daily fantasy games in DraftKings.

Bryan Seeley, who is a former federal prosecutor and the league's lead investigator, issued a court filing Monday arguing including the notes would impact MLB's ability to conduct future investigations.

"If players, club officials or the MLBPA suspected that conversations with our attorneys or investigators about potential rules violations could be revealed, it would significantly hamper the Commissioner's ability to exercise his investigatory and disciplinary powers under the MLB Constitution," he wrote.

"Interview subjects would be much less likely to voluntarily engage in candid conversations if those conversations, or DOI's (Department of Investigation's) legal analysis of them, were at risk of being disclosed," he continued.

Those interviews were key in the league's investigation of the Astros.

Gabe Lacques of USA Today noted MLB interviewed 68 total witnesses, including former Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora. The interviews helped determine Cora played a major role in the sign-stealing when he was the bench coach in Houston during the team's 2017 World Series championship season.

The Red Sox, who are still awaiting any potential punishments from the investigation into their alleged sign-stealing, parted ways with Cora following the Houston investigation.

The Astros were fined $5 million and stripped of their first- and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021. What's more, then-general manager Jeff Luhnow and then-manager AJ Hinch were each suspended for one year.

Houston fired Luhnow and Hinch after the punishments were handed out.