Sports News

Notebook: Red Sox accused of stealing signs in 2018

The Boston Red Sox stole signs via video from opposing pitchers and catchers during the 2018 regular season, multiple members of the club told The Athletic for a story published Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: Dec 9, 2019; San Diego, CA, USA; Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora speaks to the media during the MLB Winter Meetings at Manchester Grand Hyatt. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Three people who were part of the team that year told The Athletic that the signs were stolen by players who went to the video replay room to figure them out, and then sent the information to the dugout. Someone on the bench then shared the signs with baserunners, who used body movements to let the batter know what pitch was coming.

The system was not used in the postseason because Major League Baseball had monitors posted in all video replay rooms in the postseason, The Athletic reported. The Red Sox beat the Dodgers in five games in the 2018 World Series.

Major League Baseball already is investigating allegations that the Houston Astros stole signs electronically during the 2017 season. While sign stealing is commonplace, the use of electronics to do so, such as cameras from center field toward the opposing catcher, is forbidden by rule. The 2017 Astros also beat the Dodgers in the World Series.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora is a common denominator between the two teams. He was the Astros’ bench coach in 2017 before moving on to Boston.

--The Chicago White Sox signed right-handed reliever Steve Cishek to a one-year, $6 million deal, multiple outlets reported.

The deal for the 33-year-old veteran also includes a $750,000 buyout and a $6.75 million option for 2021. Cishek delivered a 2.95 ERA for the Chicago Cubs in 2019 over 70 appearances and had a 2.55 ERA with the club over the last two years.

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Over 10 seasons with the Florida/Miami Marlins, St. Louis Cardinals, Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays and Cubs, Cishek was 32-37 with a 2.69 ERA and 132 saves over 556 innings. He had a career-best 39 saves in 2014 with the Marlins.

He is expected to be used in a late-inning set-up role in front of closer Alex Colome, who could be due as much as $9.5 million in arbitration.

--The Los Angeles Dodgers bolstered their pitching staff, reaching a one-year, $1.25-million deal with right-hander Jimmy Nelson, according to multiple reports.

The Brewers non-tendered Nelson in December as he was set to make a projected $3.7 million in arbitration. Nelson missed the 2018 season after shoulder surgery and made just 10 appearances in 2019 (three starts) because of elbow issues.

A bevy of incentives could take the deal with the Dodgers to as much as $3 million in 2020. There is also a $2 million club option for 2021. The 30-year old’s best season came in 2017 when he was 12-6 in 29 starts with the Brewers, with a 3.49 ERA. He is 33-46 in 119 appearances (107 starts) over six seasons with the Brewers, posting a 4.22 ERA.

--The Baltimore Orioles signed infielder Jose Iglesias to a one-year deal with a club option for 2021, with each year worth a reported $3 million. Primarily a shortstop, the 30-year-old Iglesias batted .288 with 11 home runs and 59 RBIs for the Cincinnati Reds last season.

Over eight major league seasons, Iglesias has batted .273 with 32 home runs and 247 RBIs. He also played for the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers, finishing second in the American League rookie of the year voting in 2013. He was an All-Star in 2015 with the Tigers.

--The Washington Nationals officially announced their two-year deal with infielder Starlin Castro. The 29-year old is coming off a 2019 season with the Miami Marlins in which he set career marks with 22 home runs and 86 RBIs while batting .270.

A four-time All-Star, Castro is a career. 280 hitter over 10 seasons with the Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees and Marlins. He has 133 home runs and 636 RBIs.

--The Miami Marlins officially introduced their coaching staff under manager Don Mattingly for 2020. James Rowson was officially named bench coach -- a move that was first reported in October. The report also indicated that Rowson would be viewed as an “offensive coordinator,” even holding that title. The Marlins only announced him as bench coach Tuesday. Along with Rowson, the Marlins are adding Billy Hatcher (first base/outfield), Wellington Cepeda (bullpen), Eddy Rodriguez (catching) and Eric Duncan (hitting).

--Field Level Media