Published: Wed, November 22, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

MLB Removing Prospects From Braves

MLB Removing Prospects From Braves

The Atlanta Braves were stripped of 12 prospects, and their former general manager was banned from baseball for life on Tuesday, the most significant penalties in an unprecedented punishment for what the league said was a three-year circumvention of global signing rules.

Commissioner Rob Manfred ruled that the Braves must forfeit 13 worldwide prospects, including highly touted Kevin Maitan, an infielder from Venezuela who signed for $4.25 million in 2016.

Coppolella and Gordon Blakeley, the Braves' top worldwide scout, resigned the day after the regular season ended as MLB's investigation became public knowledge.

Major League Baseball has confirmed in a statement that the Braves will lose the rights to shortstop prospect Kevin Maitan and 12 other global signees. General manager John Coppolella, top scout Gordon Blakeley and president of baseball operations John Hart are all gone, either via firing or resignation.

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MLB announced Coppolella has been placed on the permanently ineligible list, effectively ending his baseball career, and Blakeley has been suspended from baseball for a year.

The investigation revealed multiple offenses, including illegally packaging signing bonuses, trying to sign a 14-year-old player and offering extra benefits beyond a signing bonus to a player, Drew Waters, the 41st pick in the 2017 draft.

The team will also receive penalties for the next two global signing periods, with Major League Baseball prohibiting the team from signing any worldwide player for more than $10,000 during 2019-20, while also having their 2020-21 signing bonus pool money cut in half.

All 13 players will become free agents and are eligible to sign with any team. They will need to find a new agent than the one who negotiated their deals with the Braves, Yahoo Sports reported. At least three other players signed for a bonus of more than $1 million. Manfred also announced that the Braves have been prohibited from signing prospect Robert Puason.

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