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Volume 26 No. 227
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MLB Franchise Notes: Red Sox May Face Discipline For Sign-Stealing

In Boston, Dan Shaughnessy writes if The Athletic's report of the '18 Red Sox illegal sign-stealing is accurate, the team is an "arrogant disgrace." There appears to be "ample evidence that they cheated," which would mean that the '18 team "tainted their championship." They are "no different than the Spygate Patriots." No one is going to "strip the 2018 Red Sox of their championship banner, but everything from that season is now tainted." Shaughnessy: "Baseball needs to get its game back under control. Time to be harsh. Time to make the punishments hurt" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/8). Also in Boston, John Tomase writes under the header, "If MLB Can Prove Red Sox Stole Signs Illegally, It Must Drop Hammer For Good Of Game" (NBCSPORTSBOSTON.com, 1/7).

SLASH & BURN? In Cleveland, Kevin Kleps cited data as saying that the Indians' Opening Day payroll dropped from $134.9M to $119.6M in '19. Barring any "significant additions," the Indians are on pace to begin the '20 season with a payroll in the low-$90M range. This would mean that the Indians would have "slashed their season-opening payroll" by more than $40M in two years, and that the team could "start the season with a payroll that's even lower" than the $96.3M mark from '16 Opening Day. Indians President of Baseball Operations Chris Antonetti and GM Mike Chernoff have "very much earned the benefit of the doubt," but doing "almost nothing other than cut costs isn't the answer" (CRAINSCLEVELAND.com, 1/7).

PREACHING PATIENCE: MLB Network's Jon Heyman said of the Dodgers' quiet offseason, "They are a very logical team. They don't go crazy" ("MLB Now," MLB Network, 1/6). MLB Net's Ken Rosenthal said the Dodgers have "worked many years to achieve where they are more flexible" with their payroll, and they "aren't under such constraints regarding the luxury tax threshold." MLB Net's Matt Vasgersian: "It's easy to come down on the Dodgers because we all know that there's a printing press in the basement of Dodger Stadium and they print their own money. ... But to criticize them for not spending stupidly seems a little unfair" ("Hot Stove," MLB Network, 1/6).