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Report: Major League Baseball determines Red Sox illegally used technology to steal signs from the Yankees

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Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times reports that, after an investigation, Major League Baseball has determined that the Red Sox illegally used an Apple Watch to steal signs from the Yankees.

The Red Sox hosted the Yankees in mid-August for a three-game set, winning two of the three games. Yankees GM Brian Cashman filed a complaint to the commissioner’s office using video of the Red Sox dugout which showed a trainer looking at his Apple Watch, then relaying a message to players. Presumably, this information allowed the hitters to know what pitch was coming.

When confronted by the commissioner’s office, the Red Sox admitted that trainers had been receiving signals from video replay personnel, which was then relayed to the players. It’s not known how long the Red Sox have been at it, but it’s been “at least several weeks,” according to Schmidt. The Red Sox contend that manager John Farrell, GM Dave Dombrowski, and other front office personnel were not aware of the operation.

In a bit of gamesmanship, the Red Sox filed a complaint of their own to the commissioner’s office, alleging that the Yankees use a YES Network camera exclusively to steal signs. The Red Sox also accused the Indians of stealing signs after Game 1 of the ALDS last year.

Stealing signs is not forbidden by the rulebook, but using technology to do so is. So the Red Sox are clearly at fault here and will likely face some sort of punishment. Schmidt did not speculate as to what that could be.

The Red Sox, who recently lost three of four games to the Yankees in New York, have a narrow 2.5-game lead over their rival in the AL East standings.

Report: Angels and Anthony Rendon agree on seven-year, $245 million contract

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Another big free agent domino has fallen at the Winter Meetings in San Diego. Third baseman Anthony Rendon is signing with the Angels on seven-year, $245 million contract, per Jon Heyman.

Rendon, 29, was the top free agent position player. He’s coming off of a season in which he helped the Nationals win their first championship, batting .319/.412/.598 with a league-high 126 RBI and an NL-best 44 doubles along with 34 home runs and 117 runs scored in 646 plate appearances. Rendon also continued to play solid defense at third base. During the postseason, Rendon hit .328/.412/.590 with seven doubles, three homers, 15 RBI, and 11 runs scored in 75 trips to the plate.

The Angels badly needed to make a big free agent splash this offseason, and third base was as good a place as any to do it. Rendon will now slot easily into the middle of the Angels’ lineup along with Mike Trout. It remains to be seen if the Angels are done making moves, but they could use a corner outfielder and another starting pitcher.

Humorously, Rendon has said he’d like to retire by age 35, as Jesse Daugherty of the Washington Post alluded to on the Nationals Talk Podcast. This contract will take him through his age-36 season.