Red Sox News: Investigation into 2018 allegations nearly complete

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 15: Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom addresses the departure of Alex Cora as manager of the Boston Red Sox during a press conference at Fenway Park on January 15, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. A MLB investigation concluded that Cora was involved in the Houston Astros sign stealing operation in 2017 while he was the bench coach. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 15: Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom addresses the departure of Alex Cora as manager of the Boston Red Sox during a press conference at Fenway Park on January 15, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. A MLB investigation concluded that Cora was involved in the Houston Astros sign stealing operation in 2017 while he was the bench coach. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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The Boston Red Sox are still waiting for MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred to release his report into 2018, and that wait may soon be over.

Spring training is days away and the Boston Red Sox are in shambles. We have the Mookie Betts trade drama, no manager to lead the team, and the investigation into the 2018 squad. One of these things could be coming to a conclusion soon as the investigation into the sign-stealing allegations may be coming to a close.

Per MLB Trade Rumors and Ken Davidoff of the New York Post, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke at the conclusion of the MLB Owner’s Meetings. He expressed his desire to have the results of the investigation released by the start of spring training. For Red Sox Nation, that is some positive news.

"“I’m hopeful that I can get Boston done before the camps open,” Manfred said. “I’d like to have this over. Investigations are funny. You think you know what the timeline is, but that’s a day-to-day prediction.”"

Granted, we know nothing about what Manfred has been able to uncover and who the whistleblowers are from that team. A few weeks ago we did hear that from Dan Roche of WBZ-TV and Lou Merloni or WEEI’s OMF that there has been little found into the illegal usage of the replay rooms. If those whispers do grow into fruition then Red Sox Nation should let out a sigh of relief as we would’ve dodged a massive bullet.

We all know that something could still be coming down the pike though as I’m sure Boston will feel some sort of punishment for even being implicated in the scandal. The Red Sox already punished themselves by “mutually parting ways” with then manager Alex Cora. I could see some sort of monetary penalty levied against the club, but not too much more.

If it turns out there isn’t any evidence of wrongdoing then you can’t really drop the hammer as Manfred did against Houston. However, thanks to the need for an investigation even after the league office told teams to not use the rooms for sign-stealing, especially after Boston was caught illegally using technology before, they’ll still get some sort of punishment.

"“I think you should assume that before the season starts, we will have new guidelines with respect to the use of video equipment,” Manfred added."

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Getting this investigation completed and out of the way will allow the Red Sox to move forward with their managerial search. The team has completed several interviews and based on recent reports it appears that the next skipper will be an internal hire. Ron Roenicke and Carlos Febles are both favorites for the job but pending the investigation, they aren’t free and clear from punishment just yet.

The other wrinkle in the sheets is whether or not players will be on the hook for the Red Sox investigation. We saw in Houston that they were essentially given deals in order to participate in Manfred’s investigation. It’s yet to be seen if those involved will also be shown the same level of mercy by the Commissioner, but he shed some light on that.

"“We have the right to discipline players right now [for stealing signs]. I’m absolutely convinced of that fact,” Manfred said. “We made a decision in the Houston investigation that, in order for us to get the facts that we needed, somebody had to get immunity.”"

Next. How great was Mookie Betts in Boston?. dark

The Red Sox are in need of some guidance as it feels like anything and everything they’ve done this winter has been a mess. Having this investigation coming to an end and allowing the team to hire their next manager will be the first step in the right direction. Whoever gets the call to fill the seat left by Cora will have a lot of work on his hands and they’ll surely be earning every penny coming their way.