Major League Baseball reportedly hits Braves with severe sanctions for violating signing rules

Paola Ditto
Novembre 21, 2017

These include a lifetime ban for former general manager John Coppolella, a one-year ban for former scout Gordon Blakeley, significant restrictions in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 worldwide free agent classes, forfeiture of a third-round pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, and varying punishments for other members of the Braves' global baseball operations department.

Those measures include the Braves being limited to offering no more than a $10,000 bonus to any player in the 2019-20 signing class and losing half of their global signing bonus pool for the 2020-21 class. After getting caught circumventing global signing rules and bonuses, they started taking care of the problem internally by letting go of GM John Coppolella and special assistant Gordon Blakeley right after the news broke.

The other shoe has finally dropped for the Atlanta Braves. John Hart, who as president of baseball operations served as Coppolella's boss, resigned from the organization last Friday after being moved out of the baseball operations department earlier in the week with the hire of new GM Alex Anthopoulos. Which is how it panned out. Sports' Jeff Passan, these four prospects are just the tip of an iceberg that includes up to 12 current prospects and restrictions on their worldwide free agent signings in 2019 and 2020. They also lost a draft pick in 2018. Some not fun times for the Braves' front office right now.

The team's ability to sign players in Latin America over the next few years has been severely restricted.

The Braves were forced to give up 12 prospects they had signed for an excess of $20 million due to their rule violations.

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