- The Atlanta Braves were docked 12 players and a draft pick for violating MLB’s international prospect signing rules.
- The Braves had reportedly been signing players by exceeding their bonus pool.
- Former GM John Coppolella has been barred for life.
The Atlanta Braves have reportedly been hammered by MLB for violating the rules for signing international prospects.
An investigation by MLB concluded that the Braves exceeded their bonus pool money to sign international prospects by offering more money outside of the signing bonuses.
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. Former GM John Coppolella, who lost his job amid the investigation, has been barred for life, while former scout Gordon Blakely will be suspended for one year. Jon Hart, who took over as president of baseball operations in October, resigned last week.
According to Passan, Atlanta will also be limited to offering prospects $10,000 in the 2019-20 signing period.
Most in the MLB world say the loss of vaunted prospect Kevin Maitan will hurt the Braves the most. Maitan is a switch-hitting shortstop that Passan describes as one of the most valued prospects from Latin America in the last decade.
The Braves have been praised for building one of the best farm systems in MLB, but the rebuilding effort took a hit with the penalties handed down by MLB.