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Red Sox sign-stealing investigation expected to be wrapped up before camps open

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred doesn’t expect the investigation into the Boston Red Sox to last much longer. Manfred said he expects to be done with the investigation “before the camps open,” according to the Associated Press.

While Manfred didn’t put an exact date on the end of the investigation, his comment indicates it could come soon. Red Sox pitchers and catchers report Feb. 11. The team will hold its first team workout Feb. 17.

The Red Sox are being investigated by the league after being accused of using the replay room to steal signs in 2018. The Red Sox went on to win the World Series that season.

The team has already attempted to get ahead of some punishment, parting ways with manager Alex Cora in January. Cora was considered to be an integral part of the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal.

Given Cora’s connection to both situations, the Red Sox decided it was best to cut bait with Cora before Manfred’s ruling came down. Despite being fired, Cora is still expected to be disciplined by Manfred.

Manfred faced criticism for the way he handled the Astros’ investigation. In exchange for honest testimony, Manfred allowed Astros players to receive immunity. No Astros players were suspended for their roles in the sign-stealing scandal.

Manfred will take a similar approach with the Red Sox. He told the Associated Press no Red Sox players will be sanctioned as part of the investigation.

In the Astros’ investigation, Manfred issued one-year suspensions for Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch. The Astros fired both men shortly after those punishments came down. The team was also fined $5 million.

The Red Sox could face similar punishment from the league. On top of Cora receiving a suspension, the Red Sox should also receive a hefty fine. It’s unclear whether Dave Dombrowski — who was Boston’s general manager in 2018 — will also be punished. Dombrowski was fired by the Red Sox in 2019.

Though no punishment has been handed out yet, the Red Sox are already seeing some repercussions for the scandal. With less than a week to go until camp opens, the team doesn’t have a manager for the 2020 season.

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