Red Sox

Report: Alex Cora played 'key role' in Astros' sign-stealing operation

Report: Alex Cora played 'key role' in Astros' sign-stealing operation

Alex Cora was the Houston Astros' bench coach in 2017. The Astros have been accused of using an elaborate operation to steal signs in 2017.

Sounds like Cora has some explaining to do.

The current Boston Red Sox manager played a "key role" in devising Houston's electronic sign-stealing system along with Astros manager A.J. Hinch and then-designated hitter/outfielder Carlos Beltran, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich reported Wednesday night.

Major League Baseball is "virtually certain" to interview Cora, Hinch and Beltran as it investigates the Astros, Rosenthal and Drellich added.

Here's how Houston's system worked: The team set up a camera in center field at Minute Maid Park that fed to a television monitor fixed on a wall between the home dugout and the Astros' clubhouse. Club employees and players would watch that monitor to identify the catcher's signs and relay them to the hitter by banging loudly on a trash can in the hallway.

Cora was second in command to Hinch as Houston's bench coach, so it wouldn't be surprising if he was heavily involved in the setup and/or execution of this system. Drellich and Rosenthal added that Hinch, Cora and Beltran -- now manager of the New York Mets -- weren't the only team members involved in the scheme.

Cora left the Astros right after they won the 2017 World Series to become manager of the Red Sox (who also were accused of stealing signs in 2017). The 44-year-old Puerto Rico native is trying to return Boston to relevancy after a disappointing 2019 campaign, but he may have to answer for his past first.

UPDATE (9:20 a.m. ET): Cora addressed his role in Houston's sign-stealing scheme Thursday morning in a brief statement to The Boston Globe's Pete Abraham:

"At this time MLB and the Astros are conducting an investigation. It would be irresponsible on my part to comment while it’s going on."

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MLB Rumors: Red Sox agree to contract with lefthanded pitcher Martin Perez

MLB Rumors: Red Sox agree to contract with lefthanded pitcher Martin Perez

The Boston Red Sox have reportedly made another signing in MLB free agency.

After signing infielder Jose Peraza to a one-year deal earlier in the day on Thursday, the Red Sox agreed to terms with Martin Perez, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal.

And per Rosenthal, the deal with pay Perez $6 million in the first year of his deal.

The signing of the 28-year-old lefthander won't do a lot to inspire Red Sox fans. Perez has a career ERA of 4.72 and posted a 5.12 mark last season with the Twins. That said, he did go 10-7 and averaged a career-high 7.3 K/9, so perhaps the Red Sox see a hidden gem.

Perez, a starter, will likely slot into the back-end of the Red Sox rotation. He'll replace Rick Porcello, who agreed to a one-year, $10 million deal with the New York Mets at the MLB Winter Meetings.

Report: Sox have had David Price trade talks 'with at least five clubs'>>>

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MLB rumors: Red Sox, free agent Jose Peraza agree to one-year contract

MLB rumors: Red Sox, free agent Jose Peraza agree to one-year contract

The Boston Red Sox bolstered their infield depth Thursday by agreeing to sign Jose Peraza to a one-year contract worth about $3 million plus incentives, per MLB Network's Jon Heyman.

Peraza made his Major League debut in 2015 with the Los Angeles Dodgers but spent the last four years with the Cincinnati Reds. He batted .239 with six home runs, 33 RBI and a .285 on-base percentage in 141 games during the 2019 season.

His best season came in 2018 when he batted .288 with 14 homers, 58 RBI and a .326 on-base percentage in 157 games for the Reds. All things considered, Peraza is a good buy-low candidate for the Red Sox, who also could help Boston replace Brock Holt if he departs in free agency.

The 25-year-old infielder brings plenty of positional versatility to the Red Sox. Peraza mostly played second base for Cincinnati this past season, but he also saw time at third base, left field and center field.

Peraza drew interest from at least four teams, per MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.

Report: Sox have had David Price trade talks 'with at least five clubs'>>>

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