After Betts deal, Roberts relieved 2018 Red Sox ruling was limited
Dave Roberts wanted to keep his focus on 2020 after acquiring two players who could have been exposed in MLB’s investigation of the 2018 Red Sox.
After the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Mookie Betts and David Price from the Boston Red Sox this past offseason, manager Dave Roberts was relieved nothing came out of the investigation into the 2018 Red Sox illegal sign-stealing that could have impacted his two new players, along with pitcher Joe Kelly.
"“I guess to be honest with you, after the Mookie/David trade, I was hoping that nothing really came out,” Roberts said on the Bleav in Dodgers podcast on Monday. “Because it’s not going to change history, and going forward, I didn’t want it to bleed into ’20.”"
While many people inside and outside of baseball felt the Red Sox got off easy, essentially blaming the video replay technician for stealing signs during the course of the 2018 regular season, the Dodger manager is focused on 2020. He didn’t want any distractions carrying over into the new season.
Obviously, if details emerged suggesting that Betts and/or Price played a key role in the Red Sox use of the video room to steal opposing signs to tip off hitters, it would have been cause for a possible suspension (or many not under Rob Manfred), and a constant point of discussion throughout the season.
"“I was concerned about the dynamic potentially impacting our clubhouse,” Roberts acknowledged."
The Dodgers already have pitcher Joe Kelly on their roster from last season, who was an integral piece on the Red Sox team that beat the Dodgers in 2018. Kelly called the investigation a “debacle” as it took several months for MLB to release their findings.
Boston defeated the Dodgers in five games in the 2018 World Series. The MLB investigation found insufficient evidence to suggest the Red Sox were stealing signs during the postseason.
While Betts impact was limited in the Sox win over the Dodgers, both Price and Kelly were significant contributors. Price was the winning pitcher on the night the Sox clinched. He also won Game 2, pitching in three games in total, allowing only three runs over 13.2 innings of work. Meanwhile, Kelly was nearly perfect over five appearances, striking out ten batters and keeping the Dodgers scoreless throughout the series.