MLB rumors: Red Sox investigation won’t conclude this week; Brewers extend Freddy Peralta

Cactus and Grapefruit League play is well underway, and of course almost every major free agent name is off the board. The focus is mostly only Opening Day, but we still have a stray rumor or two to occupy us until that sacred occasion. So let’s see what Wednesday brings us on the MLB buzz front. 

Red Sox investigation still not concluded

While the Astros sign-stealing scandal has hogged the offseason bandwidth, let’s not forget that MLB is also investigating the Red Sox for stealing signs during their championship season of 2018. 

Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic originally reported that the Red Sox in 2018 under former manager Alex Cora — who was bench coach for the Astros in 2017 — implemented a scheme that involved using the replay monitor to decode the signs from the opposing battery and then relay the pitch selection to the batter via a runner on second or sometimes first. The use of electronic equipment to decode opposing signs is forbidden, and the Red Sox in September of 2017 were already disciplined for similar behavior.

The fact that the Red Sox are alleged to be repeat offenders in tandem with the widespread opinion that commissioner Rob Manfred was too soft on the Astros may mean that Boston is in for a stiff penalty, at least in relative terms. Manfred said last week he expected the Red Sox investigation to conclude by the end of this week. The Red Sox, though, will reportedly have even more time to sweat the outcome: 

What with the gutting trade of Mookie Betts (and David Price) already in the books, it’s been a rough offseason for Sox rooters. On top of that, they reportedly won’t get any clarity on the sign-stealing front this week. Cora has already stepped down as manager, and the front office in place — at least at the top — had nothing to do with these events of 2018. That means the suspense surrounds the particular punishments that Manfred will levy against the team. For those reasons laid out above, those punishments could be substantial. 

Brewers reportedly agree to extension with Peralta

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Brewers are finalizing a contract extension with right-hander Freddy Peralta. Per Rosenthal, the deal will guarantee Peralta $16 million over five years with two club options that could push the total value to $30.75 million.

Peralta, 23, has pitched to a 4.79 ERA and 3.96 FIP across parts of two MLB seasons. Over that span, he’s made 22 starts and 33 relief appearances. At present, Peralta is ticketed for a middle relief role with the Brewers in 2020.

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