Today’s news that Braves’ general manager John Coppolella as well as special assistant Gordon Blakeley due to MLB’s investigation hit the Braves’ organization and its fans very hard this morning. While the possible violations were unknown, that a general manager and another executive would resign over them meant that the details could not be good.
As it turns out, it could be worse than we thought.
Sources: Braves GM John Coppolella resigned after MLB found the team bundled international signing bonuses. https://t.co/NCPKwCdoON— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 2, 2017
Passan’s report has a ton of details and is extremely well-done...we highly recommend that you look at it as it details a chaotic atmosphere in the front office where ambition and infighting was more commonplace than we could have imagined even a month ago.
The important details of the piece are that Coppolella appears to, to put it mildly, played fast and loose with the rules regarding tampering...even with other teams’ players. It also seems to confirm that MLB execs around the league really did not like Coppy’s tactics and they went scorched earth to go after him with the help of Major League Baseball.
Another important piece of information is that there are specific players at risk. We have already covered that Kevin Maitan, the Braves’ heralded international signee from Venezuela, is the target of MLB’s current investigation surrounding an apartment he lived in. Another potential problem: Drew Waters, the Braves second round pick, is currently being looked at due to Coppy off-handedly offered him a car in exchange for signing underslot. So far, it looks like the international signing violations are of greater concern.
In short, this could very easily not be the end of the Braves’ problems and this is going to be a story that continues to develop as the Braves enter the offseason.