Earlier this week, MLB disciplined the Astros for illegally stealing signs during their 2017 World Series championship season. Manager A.J. Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow were suspended (and later fired) and the team had to forfeit four high draft picks, among other things.

MLB is currently investigating the Red Sox for similar sign-stealing allegations during their 2018 World Series season. Alex Cora was Houston's bench coach in 2017 and Boston's manager in 2018, and he was identified as a ringleader during MLB's investigation into the Astros. The Red Sox and Cora parted ways soon thereafter.

On Saturday, Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez said he is looking forward to MLB wrapping up its investigation because he believes the team will be exonerated. Here's what he told reporters, including MassLive.com's Chris Smith, at the team's Winter Weekend event:

"It sucks. To be honest with you, it does suck," Martinez said here at Red Sox Winter Weekend at MGM Springfield. "But you know what? I'm excited for the investigation to get over with. Just so they can see that there was nothing going on here." 

Martinez is adamant MLB will find nothing happened in Boston during 2018.

"I believe that, yes." Martinez said.


"I was in there," Martinez said. "I saw straight up. Everyone seems to forget that in 2017 and '16 this team was a really good team. ... And we just got better. So like I said, I'm excited for it. I'm waiting. I'm really not allowed to comment on it. But we'll see what happens." 

That's a bold, definitive statement to make, no doubt, but keep in mind the Astros mostly denied the sign-stealing allegations right up until MLB completed its investigation. Carlos Beltran said any sign-stealing was done legally and Hinch called allegations against the team "a joke" during the ALCS. I expect the Red Sox to do the same.

MLB fined the Red Sox for using Apple Watches as part of a sign-stealing scheme in 2017 and, in his report, commissioner Rob Manfred said he "received absolute assurances from the Red Sox that there will be no future violations of this type." That would suggest that, if the Red Sox are found to have cheated, the penalties would be harsh.

Martinez signed a five-year deal with the Red Sox prior to the 2018 season and had a career year en route to the World Series championship, hitting .330/.402/.629 with 43 home runs and 130 RBI.