Last Updated on June 26, 2020

MLB can’t catch a break right now. According to, a federal judge has ruled that a letter from MLB to the New York Yankees in 2017 must be unsealed as part of a lawsuit against the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox for stealing signs. The letter, sent by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred to general manager Brian Cashman, is said to contain evidence that the Yankees were part of a larger sign-stealing scandal that MLB did not make public.

Although the Yankees were not directly involved in the lawsuit led by DraftKings player Kristopher Olson, this letter was part of the discovery process. The Yankees are moving to file an appeal to keep the letter from going public.

“There is no justification for public disclosure of the letter,” Yankees lawyer Jonathan Schiller wrote in an email to NJ Advance Media. “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.”


More Bad News For MLB

This is a bad look for MLB with everything going on right now. The owners and players can’t come to an agreement on how to proceed with the 2020 season and the fans are being left out in the cold. In all likelihood, the season is going to be cut down to around 50 games and whoever wins the World Series in this shortened season will have a big asterisk on that championship.

If the ongoing dispute between MLB and the MLBPA wasn’t enough, this news of alleged Yankee sign-stealing just reminds fans that two of the last three World Series champions have huge asterisks as well. The Houston Astros pulled off the most extensive cheating scandal in baseball history en route to the 2017 World Series. The Red Sox, although not as egregious as Houston, engaged in similar sign-stealing in 2018.

The Yankees were fined for improperly using the dugout phone in 2017, but this letter could provide more details on the extent to which this sign-stealing scheme went. If it’s true that the Yankees went past improper use of a dugout phone, this could mean that three of MLB’s most successful franchises have serious dirt on their hands.