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MLB Issues Penalties to Red Sox for 2018 Cheating Scandal

The MLB has issued a series of penalties to the Red Sox regarding the 2018 cheating scandal.
Photo: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Photo: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

The MLB has issued a series of penalties to the Red Sox regarding the 2018 cheating scandal, per Ken Rosenthal.

These penalties include:

  • Loss of a 2020 second-round draft pick
  • Ban of the Replay Operator J.T. Watkins for the 2020 playoffs and through 2021
  • Ban of Alex Cora for 2020 Playoffs, but only for his conduct with the 2017 Astros
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The largest impact of these penalties is the loss of the 2020 second-round draft pick, seeing as there are only five rounds of the 2020 MLB Draft, per the recent agreement between the player's union and the MLB. Watkins was banned on more of an individual basis, so it is hard to assess his impact on the team, especially knowing that most of the 2018 critical World Series players are no longer on the team.

The MLB banning Cora for the 2020 playoffs is a bit soft, seeing how the 2020 season may not happen, Chris Sale, David Price, and Mookie Betts will not be playing for the Red Sox, and the Yankees and Rays have both improved far more in the last year than the Red Sox. Boston's chances of making the 2020 playoffs are probably close to about 10% if a season were to take place.

In aggregate, this, like the penalty on the Astros for stealing signs with cameras/video, is a slap on the wrist. Hell, it's probably more like an index finger to the wrist than a full-on slap. The MLB could have made an example of both the Red Sox and the Astros for their cheating scandals, but instead, these light penalties will not disincentivize teams from doing the same going forward if it results in a World Series title.