BOSTON — Red Sox manager John Farrell offered no defense and no explanation on Tuesday after a report in The New York Times pegged the team as sign-stealers, swiping signals from the Yankees via the help of an Apple watch.
Farrell, speaking in his 4:20 p.m. usual pregame press conference, said the cheating case -- which embroils his training staff as well as some players, all the while impugning his own credibility -- is a league matter.
“Aware of the rule, electronic devices are not to be used in the dugout,” Farrell said. “But beyond that the only thing I can say is it’s a league matter at this point.”
Per the report, Farrell and Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski were unaware of the scheme.
The Times reported that MLB investigators determined the Sox did indeed steal the Yankees’ signs after an inquiry that started roughly two weeks ago. Yanks GM Brian Cashman filed a complaint the Times referred to as detailed. The complaint included “video the Yankees shot of the Red Sox dugout during a three-game series in Boston last month.”
The commissioner’s office then confronted the Red Sox, who admitted that their trainers had received signals from video replay personnel and then relayed that information to some players — an operation that had been in place for at least several weeks.
The Red Sox responded in kind on Tuesday, filing a complaint against the Yankees, claiming that the team uses a camera from its television network, YES, exclusively to steal signs during games.
Dustin Pedroia was involved, per the report.
The video provided to the commissioner’s office by the Yankees was captured during the first two games of the series and included at least three clips. In the clips, the team’s assistant athletic trainer, Jon Jochim, is seen looking at his Apple Watch and then passing information to outfielder Brock Holt and second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who was injured at the time but in uniform. In one instance, Pedroia is then seen passing the information to Young.
More light should be shed in a 5:45 scheduled press conference at Fenway Park with Rob Manfred.
LOS ANGELES - Matt Kemp is returning to the place where he began his major league career, reacquired by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday as part of a five-player trade with the Atlanta Braves that sent former Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from L.A. to Atlanta.
The Dodgers sent Gonzalez, oft-injured starting pitchers Scott Kazmir and Brandon McCarthy, infielder Charlie Culberson and cash to Atlanta for the 33-year-old Kemp. Gonzalez then was designated for assignment by the Braves.
After sitting on the sidelines during the recent winter meetings, the Dodgers moved quickly to dump nearly $50 million in salary committed to Gonzalez, Kazmir and McCarthy for 2018. Kemp is owed about $43 million over the next two seasons. Click here for more.
Free agent slugger J.D. Martinez has told the Red Sox he would DH and play the outfield for them, a baseball source said Friday. The flipside: teams are offering Martinez a full-time outfield job, and he enjoys playing the outfield.
Martinez, the best bat available via free agency, visited with teams at the winter meetings this week.
Michael Silverman of the Herald wrote Friday that Martinez has been telling teams he prefers to play the outfield, and suggested the Sox will have to pay a bit more to land Martinez.
“Martinez remains open to being a DH so his preference to play defense regularly does not eliminate the Red Sox from signing Martinez,” Silverman wrote. “It does, however, put them in a position of having to make an aggressive offer that would distance themselves from competing offers where teams can present a corner outfield position.
“Just what defines aggressive is something only Martinez and his agent Scott Boras will ultimately determine.”
The market could start to move a bit now, although that doesn’t mean anything is necessarily imminent. Another baseball source on Friday night noted that the market has started to thaw with Carlos Santana off the board. He agreed to a three-year, $60 million deal with the Phillies.
The Red Sox made an offer for Santana, but the offer made clear that Santana was not their primary choice. In other words, it wasn't close to what Santana ended up with.
A scenario in which Jackie Bradley Jr. is traded to make room for Martinez in the outfield seems reasonable, even if the Red Sox and Boras, who represents Bradley, have both downplayed that possibility.