Major League Baseball has finally announced the findings from its investigation into alleged sign stealing by the Boston Red Sox.
Luckily for the Red Sox, the punishments that will be handed down on the franchise are not very harsh.
Here are the key details:
--The Red Sox will lose a 2020 second-round draft pick
--Former manager Alex Cora has been suspended through the 2020 playoffs, although this ban is only the result of his conduct as Astros bench coach in 2017. He is not being punished for any actions taken as Red Sox manager.
--Red Sox video replay system operator J.T. Watkins has been suspended through the 2020 postseason and also cannot be the team's replay operator through 2021.
--The MLB concluded Watkins' conduct happened during the 2018 regular season only, and that "the evidence uncovered during the investigation is insufficient to conclude that the conduct continued in the 2018 Postseason or 2019 regular season."
The investigation into the Red Sox began in January, and the league noted it interviewed 65 witnesses, many of whom were former or current Red Sox players.
The Red Sox released the following statement in response to the MLB's findings:
The Cora suspension is particularly noteworthy. The fact that his suspension is not the result of anything he did with the Red Sox begs the question of whether a return to Boston is possible for him. Cora and the Red Sox mutually agreed to part ways in January after he was named in the league's scathing report on the Houston Astros' sign-stealing operation and his role in it.
Many Red Sox players expressed publicly over the last few months that the team didn't do anything egregious.
With the investigation over, the team can now solely focus on preparing for the 2020 MLB season, the start of which has been delayed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.