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Sources: MLB Tells Clubs of Planned Rule Changes in Wake of Astros Scandal

In the aftermath of the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal, MLB is looking to crack down on cheating. According to Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci, the league is working with the players association on a variety of new protocols to prevent future incidents, hoping to enact changes by Opening Day.

Per Verducci, MLB has proposed that access to the dugout and clubhouse during games will be limited to players, seven coaches and necessary interpreters and trainers. Front office members would be banned from clubhouses during games.

While the league is still in discussions with the MLBPA about how far to take potential limitations, Verducci also reports that it's possible in extreme cases that televisions could be turned off during games in both clubhouses. One possible allowance, per Verducci, would be to permit just a single television in the training room to air the game broadcast, but only on an eight-second delay.

“We’re not as far apart with the players association as you might think,” MLB Senior Vice President Chris Young told Sports Illustrated. “[Angels manager] Joe Maddon said it best: we need to return the game to being decided on the field rather than what’s going on behind it.”

Additionally, per Verducci's report, the league is looking to crack down on the use of “engineered” substance mixtures that can be used by pitchers, similar to what Michael Pineda used in 2014Cincinnati pitcher Trevor Bauer previously charged the Astros with using grip substances to increase the spin rate for their pitches.

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The proposed changes are largely the result of commissioner Rob Manfred's Jan. 13 nine-page report detailing how Houston cheated during the 2017-18 seasons. Manfred suspended Astros manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow through the 2020 World Series, but owner Jim Crane subsequently fired them.

Managers Alex Cora and Carlos Beltrán were named in the report and later parted ways with the Red Sox and Mets in the wake of the scandal. Cora served as Houston's 2017 bench coach, while Beltrán was a member of the World Series-winning roster.

Countless players, both current and former Astros as well as others from around the league, have continued discussing the controversy as Spring Training has gotten underway.

Sign-stealing has a long history in baseball, but the league prohibits clubs from using electronic equipment to capture catchers' signs.

Manfred recently confirmed to reporters that the Astros utilized their trash can banging system during the 2017 postseason. He additionally said that MLB did consider stripping Houston of its 2017 World Series title as part of its punishment, but eventually decided against it, citing a lack of precedent and that spectators will always know something was different about the 2017 Astros team.