ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred hopes the investigation into sign stealing by the Houston Astros will be complete by next season and says he has authority to impose discipline beyond the loss of amateur draft picks.
Oakland pitcher Mike Fiers says that when he was with Houston in 2017, the Astros stole signs during home games by using a camera positioned in center field, The Athletic reported last week.
“Any allegation that relates to a rule violation that could affect the outcome of a game or games is the most serious matter — it relates to the integrity of the sport,” Manfred said Tuesday ahead of an owners’ meeting. “People want the game played consistent with our rules and feel it’s important that we figure out exactly what happened here and take steps to make sure that it doesn’t happen in the future by imposing appropriate discipline.”
Manfred fined the Boston Red Sox in September 2017 for using an Apple Watch to steal signals from New York Yankees catchers. At the time, only weeks before the Astros won their first World Series title, Manfred said “all 30 clubs have been notified that future violations of this type will be subject to more serious sanctions, including the possible loss of draft picks.”
Loss of international signing bonus pool allocation also has been mentioned as a potential penalty.
“I’m not going to speculate on what the appropriate discipline is. That depends on how the facts are established at the end of the investigation,” Manfred said. “The general warning that I issued to the clubs, I stand by. It certainly could be all those things. But my authority under the major league constitution would be broader than those things, as well.”
Manfred said for now no other teams are being investigated.
“Right now we…