Manfred: Red Sox electronic sign-stealing investigation is complete

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred. (Mark J. Terrill/AP)

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says the league’s sign-stealing investigation into the Boston Red Sox is complete and a report will be released before the now-delayed 2020 season begins.

In an interview with ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt, Manfred said time spent dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the completion of the report.

“Boston, we are done with the investigation,” Manfred said. “There’s been a delay in terms of producing a written report just because I, frankly, have not had time to turn to it but we will get a Boston report out before we resume play.”

MLB originally opened an investigation into electronic sign-stealing by the Red Sox in early January. On Jan. 13, MLB fined the Houston Astros $5 million, revoked four draft picks and suspended GM Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch for the 2020 season after a separate sign-stealing investigation. In that report, Manfred said Red Sox manager Alex Cora developed the scheme while he was bench coach in Houston. Cora parted ways with the Red Sox shortly after.

In the same interview Wednesday, Manfred was asked about how the schedule could change this season. The end of spring training and the beginning of the season was suspended due to the new coronavirus sweeping the globe.

“Nothing’s off the table for us right now,” Manfred said. “I think we are open and we’ve had some very positive conversations with our players’ association about relaxing some of the rules that govern our schedule. They’re very focused on returning to play and playing as many games as possible. And when you have that kind of positive dialogue it creates an opportunity to do things that are a little different.

“There’s a lot of ideas out there and we’re open to all of them.”

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