2017 letter from MLB to be unsealed, might link Yankees to sign-stealing

A federal judge has given the New York Yankees until noon on Monday to unseal a 2017 letter from Major League Baseball that may link the team to a sign-stealing scandal, The Athletic’s Evan Drellich reports. 

The Yankees stated that making the letter public would result in “significant reputational injury,” Judge Jed Rakoff said Friday, but New York’s lawyer argues there’s no reason for the letter to be revealed. Yankees lawyer Jonathan Schiller said:

“There is no justification for public disclosure of the letter. The plaintiff has no case anymore, and the court held that what MLB wrote in confidence was irrelevant to the court’s dismissal of the plaintiff’s case. Under established law, this supports the Yankees’ right to confidentiality required by the commissioner of Baseball.”

The Yankees were investigated in 2017 and were guilty of only minor infractions, but the sealed letter reportedly states otherwise. This was the same investigation where the Boston Red Sox were proved guilty of using Apple Watches to relay signs, but the specifics of the Yankees side of things weren’t revealed at the time.

This is only the latest information regarding sign-stealing in MLB. The Houston Astros were busted for a major scandal that saw Jeff Luhnow and A.J. Hinch suspended for a year and subsequently fired by the organization as a result of their involvement in the sign-stealing mess. Former Red Sox manager Alex Cora also was suspended for a year and let go by the Red Sox for his involvement in the Astros disaster, and the New York Mets parted ways with manager Carlos Beltran, who played for the Astros in 2017, before he coached a single game.

Yankees players have been critical of the Astros since learning about the scandal. Retired pitcher C.C. Sabathia noted he felt cheated due to Houston’s conduct, and general manager Brian Cashman complained about the Astros having a “distinct advantage” by stealing signs.

—Erin Walsh

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