According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Major League Baseball is expected to hit the Houston Astros with "one of the harshest penalties in the sport’s history" for sign stealing when their investigation is completed later this month.
The league announced in November that it would investigate accusations that the Astros stole signs during their championship season in 2007. Commissioner Rob Manfred later added, however, that the investigation had widened to activity by the Astros over the past three seasons.
“That investigation is going to encompass not only what we know about ‘17, but also ‘18 and ’19,” Manfred said. “To the extent we are talking to people all over the industry, former employees, competitors, whatever. To the extent that we find other leads, we're going to follow these leads.”
USA Today reports the investigation has seen the league review 75,000 emails in addition to interviews with at least three active managers, an unknown number of players and dozens of league personnel.
Oakland Athletics pitcher Mike Fiers told The Athletic in November that while he was playing with the Astros during their 2017 World Series championship season the team stole signs during home games by using a camera positioned in centre field. During this year’s playoffs, Houston players were suspected of whistling in the dugout to communicate pitch selection to batters.
Manfred fined the Boston Red Sox an undisclosed amount in September 2017 for using an Apple Watch to steal signals from New York Yankees catchers. At the time, Manfred promised harsher penalties in the future.