Sign stealing: MLB to reportedly penalize Astros soon; Red Sox under investigation

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 19: Manager AJ Hinch #14 of the Houston Astros celebrates with the trophy following his teams 6-4 win against the New York Yankees in game six of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park on October 19, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) (KPRC)

HOUSTON – Major League Baseball announced it’s investigating a second team, the Boston Red Sox, in connection with allegations of sign stealing after the Houston Astros came under fire last year.

The Athletic reported last month that the Houston Astros allegedly stole signs during home games of their 2017 World Series championship season by using a camera positioned in center field. The same publication has now reported that three anonymous sources said some Red Sox players visited the replay room during games to get information on sign sequences.

Houston Astros

MLB is expected to handout significant punishment to the Astros within the next two weeks with regards to the allegations of illegal sign-stealing through use of electronic equipment, according to a Tuesday report from ESPN.

According to the report, through the league’s investigation, there are witnesses admitting the Astros used a system to relay pitch types to batters before they were thrown.

Commissioner Rob Manfred is said to be deciding on the severity of the punishment for the organization. The discipline is expected to center around manager A. J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow along with other members of the Astros front office.

Houston is expected to be hit with a very large fine, as well.

The league issued a memo to all teams during the 2017 season indicating significant punishment for teams that use technology that outside of stated rules.

Boston Red Sox

MLB says it will investigate allegations that the Red Sox illegally used their video replay room to steal signs between opposing pitchers and catchers during their 2018 World Series championship season.

The claims were made Tuesday in a report by The Athletic. The website cited three anonymous sources it said were with the Red Sox during the 2018 season who said some players visited the replay room during games to get information on sign sequences.

Those sources told The Athletic that the Red Sox weren't able to do it during the postseason because of in-person monitors used by MLB in those games.

“The Commissioner made clear in a September 15, 2017 memorandum to clubs how seriously he would take any future violation of the regulations regarding use of electronic equipment or the inappropriate use of the video replay room. Given these allegations, MLB will commence an investigation into this matter," the league said in a statement.

The Red Sox said they will cooperate as MLB looks into the allegations.

“We were recently made aware of allegations suggesting the inappropriate use of our video replay room," the team said in a statement. “We take these allegations seriously and will fully cooperate with MLB as they investigate the matter.”

The incident that prompted MLB's 2017 warning from Commissioner Rob Manfred to teams came after the Red Sox were fined an undisclosed sum for “sending electronic communications from their video replay room to an athletic trainer in the dugout" during an August 2017 series against the rival New York Yankees.

The New York Times reported that general manager Brian Cashman filed a complaint with the commissioner's office regarding that incident which included video. The newspaper said it showed a member of Boston's training staff looking at his Apple Watch in the dugout and relaying a message to players.

Manfred said at the time that future violations would be subject to more serious sanctions, including possible loss of draft picks. He said last month that he has the authority to levy even stiffer penalties.

Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora was the bench coach for that team and has spoken with MLB. He has declined further comment on the matter.

KPRC 2′s Tulsi Kamath contributed to this report.