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Ex-Braves GM John Coppolella permanently banned; team loses prospects

22 November, 2017, 01:23 | Author: Lamar Ellis
  • MLB hammers Atlanta Braves, declaring 12 minor league players free agents

Both Coppolella and Blakeley resigned October 2 after the club found a "breach of Major League Baseball rules regarding the worldwide player market".

Manfred also announced 12 players the Braves signed illegally during the 2015-17 worldwide free-agent period have been released from their contracts, making them eligible to sign with any team.

Rob Manfred and the league came down hard on the Braves, stripping them off several high-profile prospects and limiting their ability to spend on the global market for the next two years. Former Braves Special Assistant Gordon Blakeley, the team's worldwide scouting chief, was suspended from performing services for any team for one year.

Those players include shortstop Kevin Maitan, catcher Abrahan Gutierrez, second baseman Yunior Severino and righthander Juan Contreras, who received the Braves' top four signing bonuses in their 2016 class. "As MLB stated, the Braves cooperated fully throughout this investigation and we understand and accept the decision regarding the penalties that have been handed down", the team said in a statement.

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The Braves will also lose a third-round pick in the 2018 draft (penalty for the Waters infraction), and their worldwide signing bonus money will be drastically reduced through July 2021.

As a result, 12 players, nine of whom the Braves signed last year and three signed this year, will become free agents and the Braves will lose a third-round pick this year.

The Braves also suffered penalties for circumventing worldwide signing rules in recent years.

The Braves will also have a $10,000 signing cap on worldwide free agents in 2019-20, have their bonus pool reduced by 50 percent in 2020-21 and forfeit their third-round draft pick in 2018. "We are instituting the changes necessary to prevent this from ever happning again and remain excited about the future of Braves baseball". The organization signed five players subject to the team's signing bonus pool to contracts with bonuses lower than the what the club agreed to pay the players.



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