MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said the league's investigation found that the Braves illegally moved bonus pool money from one player to boost another player's contract. Consistent with the rules, the Braves could have signed all of the 2015-16 players for the full, actual signing bonus amounts.
The Braves might be the ones who are paying the price, but this is clearly meant as a message from commissioner Rob Manfred, with more and more global players coming into the game.
Manfred says an investigation conducted by Major League Baseball determined the Braves circumvented worldwide signing rules from 2015 through 2017, by moving bonus pool money from one player to boost another player's contract. These players were Juan Contreras, Yefri del Rosario, Abrahan Gutierrez, Kevin Maitan, Juan Carlos Negret, Yenci Peña, Yunior Severino, Livan Soto and Guillermo Zuniga.
Manfred also prohibited the team from signing any worldwide player for more than $10,000 once the 2019-20 period rolls around; the following year, the organization will be reduced 50 percent on its spending limit.
Coppolella resigned as Atlanta's general manager on October 2 following an Major League Baseball investigation into the team's global signing methods.
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The Braves will also lose a third-round pick in the 2018 draft (penalty for the Waters infraction), and their global signing bonus money will be drastically reduced through July 2021.
All 13 players will become free agents and are eligible to sign with any team.
Former Braves special assistant Gordon Blakeley will be suspended for one year and won't be allowed to work for any team during his suspension. Manfred also announced that the Braves have been prohibited from signing prospect Robert Puason.
"The senior baseball operations officials responsible for the misconduct are no longer employed by the Braves", Manfred said.
As we expressed last week, our organization has not lived up to the standard our fans expect from us and that we expect from ourselves. Alex Anthopoulos is now in charge of all baseball-related decisions as the team's new general manager.