Report: MLB, MLBPA discussing new electronic sign-stealing rules that would punish players for cheating

By Matt Johnson
© Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

MLB continues to deal with the fallout from the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal. Now, league officials and the MLB Players’ Association are taking steps to create new rules for in-game video usage that could lead to punishment for future players if they commit similar acts.

According to The Athletic’s Evan Drellich, MLB and the MLBPA are exchanging rule proposal regarding the use of in-game video replay and technology. While there is still reportedly disagreement over the level of punishment, both sides agree that players who steal signs electronically should be subject to discipline.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred received significant criticism from players and it has led to increased hostility towards Astros’ players from their peers across baseball. Houston’s players were given immunity in exchange for cooperating with the league’s investigation, which led to manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow being fired and suspended for a year.

Discussions between the MLB and MLBPA regarding new rules are reportedly in their early stages. League officials are pushing for a broader scope of power to discipline players, while the MLBPA is pushing back to limit the broadness of MLB’s reach and authority.

Another issue existing between the two sides, per The Athletic, is the video access itself. Many players still want the ability to review their at-bats during games. MLB is reportedly open to it, but it comes with the complications of officials needing to edit any footage so players can’t look at the signs being used by the opposing catcher.

Both sides are more than willing to put new rules in place so teams can’t repeat the practices used by the Astros and Boston Red Sox. It might just be a matter of time until new rules are in place, which would make everyone around baseball happy.