Red Sox

Rob Manfred ties Red Sox, Yankees' sign stealing allegations to rivalry

Rob Manfred ties Red Sox, Yankees' sign stealing allegations to rivalry

BOSTON — Commissioner Rob Manfred on Tuesday acknowledged that both the Red Sox and Yankees are being investigated for sign-stealing but did not detail any of those investigations. A conclusion is expected before the regular season ends.

Manfred said that it’s his understanding that general managers usually settle sign-stealing issues amongst themselves, rather than the story becoming public. Gamesmanship between the sport’s most famous rivals, then, may be at play.

“I take any issue that affects the play of the game on the field extremely seriously,” Manfred said. "I do believe that this is a charged situation from a competitive perspective. When you have the kind of rivalry that the Yankees and the Red Sox have, I guess it’s not shocking you could have charges and counter charges like this. We will conduct a thorough investigation of the charges on both sides. I want to do that quickly. I think that’s important, that we get it resolved. The only thing that I can tell you about repercussions is that to the extent that there was a violation on any either side, and I’m not saying that there was… We are 100 percent comfortable that it is not an ongoing issue.”

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A punishment for one or both clubs would be made with deterrence in mind, Manfred said, but indicated vacating wins is not likely. That’s mostly because the impact of stealing signs can be very hard to determine.

There is no rule against stealing signs, but there is a rule against the use of electronic devices.

Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, like manager John Farrell, did not deny or confirm whether the Sox stole signs. Dombrowski, who seemed somewhat amused, noted the ongoing prevalence of sign stealing within baseball.

“No, I don’t,” Dombrowski said when asked if sign stealing is wrong. “I guess it depends how you do it."

Dombrowski hinted he believed that the Yankees leaked the story. Manfred gave a scheduled press conference at Fenway Park — not because of the sign story, as originally reported by The New York Times, but because of his previously planned trip around the league.

Manfred said the Red Sox have been "100 percent, fully cooperative with us."

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Report: Red Sox sign J.D. Martinez

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USA TODAY Sports Photo

Report: Red Sox sign J.D. Martinez

UPDATE: ESPN's Pedro Gomez reports J.D. Martinez has signed with the Red Sox.

More details as they come available...

 

ORIGINAL STORY: FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox and J.D. Martinez were nearing a deal on Monday evening, a baseball source told NBC Sports Boston.

Multiple sources earlier Monday said the Sox and Martinez were in active negotiation. The industry belief has long been that the Sox are Martinez's most logical landing spot.

MORE - John Henry: We've made a lot of changes

“Other than to say we remain interested, do not have anything else to add,” Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said by email Monday afternoon.

The Red Sox braintrust was together Monday morning and midday at JetBlue Park, with both principal owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner on hand.

Werner in January confirmed the Sox were in active negotiations with Martinez. On Monday, he deferred questions to Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski. 

“I think you should talk to Dave about that,” Werner said. “Obviously there’s no news, but I think you should ask Dave that question."

Werner and Henry both said they were bullish on the Sox if they do not sign Martinez. Werner was asked whether the Sox have an obligation to improve last year’s team with outside help. Without Martinez, the team is virtually identical.

“We have an obligation to try to win the World Series every year,” Werner said. “Sometimes you go in one direction, sometimes you go in another direction. We’re not ceding first place to anybody. Obviously, we have to be better in the playoffs. As John said, we think our approach is better this year and we think we’re going to have if not the highest payroll in baseball, one of the two or three highest payrolls in baseball. We have a great general manager and a great team to figure out how to deploy it and we certainly feel like we’re moving forward.”

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Sources: Red Sox, J.D. Martinez still negotiating Monday

Sources: Red Sox, J.D. Martinez still negotiating Monday

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox and J.D. Martinez remained in negotiation on Monday, sources said.

There was no indication a deal was nearing as of early Monday afternoon, but the sides continue to talk. The industry belief has long been that the Sox are Martinez's most logical landing spot, but a source said there are alternatives.

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The Red Sox braintrust was together Monday morning and midday at JetBlue Park, with both principal owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner on hand.

Werner in January confirmed the Sox were in active negotiations with Martinez. On Monday, he deferred questions to Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski. 

“I think you should talk to Dave about that,” Werner said. “Obviously there’s no news, but I think you should ask Dave that question."

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Werner and Henry both said they were bullish on the Sox if they do not sign Martinez. Werner was asked whether the Sox have an obligation to improve last year’s team with outside help. Right now, the team is virtually identical.

“We have an obligation to try to win the World Series every year,” Werner said. “Sometimes you go in one direction, sometimes you go in another direction. We’re not ceding first place to anybody. Obviously, we have to be better in the playoffs. As John said, we think our approach is better this year and we think we’re going to have if not the highest payroll in baseball, one of the two or three highest payrolls in baseball. We have a great general manager and a great team to figure out how to deploy it and we certainly feel like we’re moving forward.”

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