The fallout from the scandal that cost John Coppolella his job as General Manager of the Atlanta Braves is continuing to spread and is showing no signs of slowing down. After we got a moment to catch our breath, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports dropped a bombshell of a report on the baseball world that detailed all the ways in which Coppy acted improperly as a GM.
The major story right now involves Kevin Maitan and there’s a chance that he could be declared a free agent once this is all said and done. Meanwhile, another Braves prospect was mentioned in Passan’s article and that was Drew Waters — Atlanta’s second round pick in the 2017 MLB Draft.
In the report, Passan says that the former Braves GM resorted to some underhanded tactics in order to bring Waters into the organization’s fold as a draft pick.
...The anonymous complaints offered a number of threads to investigate. One involves Drew Waters, a second-round pick this season whom the Braves allegedly offered under-the-table benefits to sign for under the slot value. In interviews with the league, Coppolella and Keith Grunewald, Waters’ agent, denied the allegations, saying that Coppolella’s offer of a car to bridge the difference between the $1.5 million he signed for and the $1.675 million slot value was made in jest, according to sources. When reached by Yahoo Sports, Grunewald declined comment.
This is the kind of stuff that makes your jaw drop and isn’t too far off from what you hear about in recruiting scandals for college sports. You could take Coppolella and Grunewald at their word that the car offer was in jest, but I’d also advise you to take to heart this phrase from the wise wordsmith known as Nelly: “I’m just kiddin’ like Jason (unless you’re gonna do it)!” Basically, it would all be fun and games unless they actually decided “Hey, maybe taking the car would be a good idea,” so there’s that.
If this type of dealing turned out to be true, then it’ll make the punishment that the Braves are sure to receive only stiffer. There’s already a chance that they could lose Maitan, and now it appears that that would only be the tip of the iceberg as far as any punishments are concerned.
It’s becoming very clear that this is a major scandal for the Braves as an organization — one that could have huge ramifications on the future of the team going forward.