After a massive rebuild, the Atlanta Braves’ general manager John Coppolella has been forced to resign as the investigation by the MLB heats up.
As fans have felt like the farm team for the rest of the league with the revolving door of seemingly endless trades that have been made, it’s not all that surprising, now, that the Braves are in hot water. John Coppolella joined the the Atlanta Braves organization following the dismissal of Frank Wren in 2015. In the following years, Coppy, as he is affectionately known, made drastic and sometimes questionable moves to help improve the team’s chances of making it to the World Series.
So what did John Coppolella do?
Atlanta Braves General Manager John Coppolella has resigned from his position, effective immediately. pic.twitter.com/lOQZEkw8Ur
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) October 2, 2017
The results of the investigation have not been officially released, but the speculation is that the Braves offered international players bundled signing bonuses, in an attempt to get around their limited spending parameters. This is not a new idea in baseball, with the Boston Red Sox having been caught doing just that last year. This is, however, the first time that the Braves have come under the gun for it.
There is also some suspicion that John Coppolella also had some influence on the Braves negotiating pre-draft deals giving players under-the-table payments, and tampering with impending free agents by reaching out to their agents while they were still under contract with other teams.
Coppolella is not the only one that the Braves have parted ways with as a result of this investigation. Gordon Blakeley, the team’s international scouting chief and a special assistant to John Coppolella, also has resigned.
What happens next?
As a result of this investigation, Braves top infield prospect Kevin Maitan could be declared a free agent and the Braves could face additional penalties, like Boston faced for their 2015-16 season international acquisitions. It looks like the Braves fans will have to wait and see what will happen when the results are officially released.
In the mean time, you can trust that the Braves office will not miss a step. John Hart, president of baseball operations, has taken over Coppy’s duties and will continue in the Braves efforts for future dominance.