It's been a busy off season for the Red Sox. With Manager Alex Cora fired over the on-going sign-stealing scandal and popular players like Mookie Betts and David Price, Sox fans and players alike are feeling apprehensive about the upcoming season. WGBH News' Morning Edition host Joe Mathieu spoke with "The Athletic's" Jen McCaffery about team morale ahead of the new season. The transcript below has been edited for clarity.

Joe Mathieu: Do we have a team this year?

Jen McCaffery: There is a team. They are down there [and] just started games about a week ago. But yeah, it's definitely a different vibe. I was down there the second week [and] I actually head back down there tomorrow, so yeah, it's definitely a different feel than previous years.

Mathieu: Can you describe it? What is the vibe? Is it one of anxiety or how would you describe it?

McCaffery: Yeah, I think anxiety is a good word. The team itself is waiting for this investigation to be over. We thought initially it was going to come down tomorrow. Commissioner Manfred said that their findings would be coming at the end of this week, but now we're hearing maybe into next week. So there's that anxiety hanging over the team, anxiety of how this team is going to gel without Mookie Betts [and] without David Price — obviously he was a key piece of their rotation and Betts of their lineup — and are [the fans] going to come out and support this team and fill the stands like they have previously?

Mathieu: Well, that's a big question, right? It could be a little bit easier to get tickets to Fenway Park this year.

McCaffery: Yeah. The free workouts that they have on the fields at Fort Myers in the week leading up to the games didn't seem as crowded as they have been in the past. Usually school vacation week is pretty packed to the gills. There are still a lot of people; it wasn't like it was sparse by any means, but it is definitely lighter than normal. The first game those stands were full and there's people out and about. So there's still definitely a lot of fans that are coming out. But I do think that there is a portion of the fan base that feels pretty burned by this off season and everything that's kind of going on around the team.

Mathieu: That's for sure. In terms of the sign-stealing investigation, do you have a sense of what's taking so long? Are they still learning more, or is this about crafting the right presentation?

McCaffery: Yeah, I think we have learned that they found out a little bit more [and] that they're trying to investigate. At this point, we've heard that they're trying to get in touch with people that are going to be affected by this. So potentially people outside the team that aren't with the team anymore. I mean, you'd have to think Dave Dombrowski obviously was the president of baseball ops while the investigation was going on. [He's] not there anymore, so he might be someone that's involved. Obviously, Cora is going to have some ramifications out of this. So, yeah, we don't really know too much, but it should be coming down within the next week or so. I know the team wants to get it over with.

Mathieu: It's going to be a big headline when it does. It's not going to be good, is it?

McCaffery: Yeah. What we're hearing is that it's not going to be as bad as the Astros. But then again, we just don't know. They could come out with something that blows everybody away. Sure. We weren't really expecting the Astros investigation to lead to the GM and the manager being suspended for a year. Obviously, Alex Cora's punishment still is hanging in the in the balance here.

Mathieu: It's not like he's about to be cleared though.

McCaffery: Right. I mean, at the very least I would expect a year's suspension for him, maybe more. So, yeah, there's kind of a lot hanging in the balance here.

Mathieu: You mentioned David Price. We also lost him. There's another guy we paid a lot of money for named Chris Sale, who's been having some issues going back to last season with his arm. Where is he? Is he going to be in play in a meaningful way this season?

McCaffery: Yeah. So he had a pretty strong season after being on the injury list last year. In August, he was put on the injury list with elbow inflammation. He had about six months off to kind of recoup and refresh. And coming into spring training, he was feeling good and then he got hit with about a pneumonia that pushed him back about two weeks. So that kind of set him back a little bit, but he actually is ramping back up now [and] feeling a lot better. He's been throwing and he should be getting into his first game maybe within a week or so.

Mathieu: So Sale Day will be a thing at Fenway Park this Summer.

McCaffery: It will be. He'll be back. They obviously really need him and they need him to be healthy. So, you know, we'll see where that goes.