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Report: MLB 'found no evidence' Astros used buzzers to steal signs

Report: MLB 'found no evidence' Astros used buzzers to steal signs

Just when you thought Major League Baseball's sign-stealing scandal was close to being settled, a whole new can of worms was opened up on Thursday.

Rumors swirled on social media about the Houston Astros using buzzers underneath their jerseys to illegally steal signs. These allegations are separate from Houston's initial sign-stealing scandal that led to the firings of manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow.

But according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, MLB didn't find any evidence during its investigation pointing to wearable devices being used for sign-stealing.


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Sherman also tweeted a statement from Astros star Jose Altuve, via Altuve's agent Scott Boras. In the statement, Altuve denies ever wearing electronic devices to gain an advantage:

While MLB didn't find anything to suggest the Astros used the buzzers, that doesn't mean it didn't happen. At this point, Houston doesn't exactly have the benefit of the doubt. True or not, it's hard to believe these allegations will go away any time soon.

There already has been plenty of fallout from the initial sign-stealing scandal. In addition to Hinch and Luhnow being relieved of their duties, the Boston Red Sox and manager Alex Cora mutually agreed to part ways. In its investigation, MLB found that Cora played a central role in the Astros' scandal when he was Houston's bench coach in 2017.

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Latest reports on MLB negotiations don't bode well for 2020 season

Latest reports on MLB negotiations don't bode well for 2020 season

While the NBA gears up for a reported return in late July, Major League Baseball is still stuck in neutral.

MLB has rejected the MLB Players Association's proposal for a 114-game season in 2020 and doesn't plan to make a counter-offer, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich reported Wednesday.

The sticking point appears to be around player pay: The players agreed to prorated 2020 salaries in March but called for no additional salary cuts in their latest proposal, per The Athletic. MLB's proposal to the union last month, meanwhile, called for a "50-50 revenue split" between owners and players in an 82-game season.

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According to The Athletic, MLB is considering a season with as few as 50 games in front of no fans as a potential option but has not proposed that scenario to the union.

Yet multiple players recently told ESPN's Jeff Passan they're opposed to a shorter season, with one telling Passan, "We want to play more games, and they want to play less. We want more baseball."

The New York Post's Joel Sherman summed up the current state of negotiations Wednesday in a rather depressing tweet.

All hope isn't completely lost for the 2020 MLB season to happen amid the coronavirus pandemic, however. SNY's Andy Martino suggested MLB declining to counter the players' proposal could just be a negotiating tactic as the sides attempt to find common ground.

Still, it doesn't appear the league and the players are close to finding that common ground. And considering the Boston Red Sox had already played 59 regular-season games by this point last year, time is running out.

UPDATE (4:23 p.m. ET): MLB Network's Jon Heyman is a bit more optimistic about the league and the players working things out:

MLB's Top 100 players for 2020 season: Part 3, Numbers 50-26

MLB's Top 100 players for 2020 season: Part 3, Numbers 50-26

With MLB players and owners struggling to come to terms on a return-to-play strategy for 2020, we're focusing on the actual players who will take the field when games eventually get back underway.

Over the next several weeks, NBC Sports Boston is counting down the Top 100 players for 2020. While our list won't include several aces who will definitely not play this season — Noah Syndergaard of the Mets, Luis Severino of the Yankees, and Chris Sale of the Red Sox — our countdown includes many other All-Stars.

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Red Sox closer Brandon Workman kicked off our list at No. 100, and our next group of 25 players included Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez.

As we continue our countdown and move into the Top 50, we find J.D. Martinez, who has broken out into a feared hitter after a slow start to his career. Released by the Astros before the 2014 season, he remade his approach, flourished with the Tigers and now has made back-to-back All-Star teams with the Sox. 

Now 32, he's an established veteran, but it's also possible the late bloomer is only early in his prime years. So where does he land on our Top 100?

Click here for Part 3 of our countdown of MLB's Top 100 players.