Major League Baseball drops death penalty on Braves, bans John Coppolella for life

Furious Braves fans dig up old Twitter Q&A to blast ex-GM after MLB sanctions

Furious Braves fans dig up old Twitter Q&A to blast ex-GM after MLB sanctions

Major League Baseball informed multiple Braves worldwide signings today that they will become free agents, multiple sources told Baseball America.

Those three players are now free to sign with any team, along with fellow 2016 prospects Juan Contreras, Yefri del Rosario, Juan Carlos Negret, Yenci Peña, Livan Soto and Guillermo Zuniga and 2017 signees Brandol Mezquita, Angel Rojas and Antonio Sucre.

The result is that 12 worldwide signees - Kevin Maitan, Juan Contreras, Yefri del Rosario, Abrahan Gutierrez, Juan Carlos Negret, Yenci Pena, Tunior Severino, Livan Soto, Guillermo Zuniga, Brandol Mezquita, Angel Rojas and Antonio Sucre - will all be released from their contracts, with Major League Baseball and Manfred "declaring them free agents eligible to sign with any other Club". They also lost a draft pick in 2018.

In addition to suspending Coppolella and Blakeley, MLB also declared nine Braves players to be free agents.

The Braves said in a statement after MLB's announcement that they cooperated fully with the investigation and "understand and accept" the penalties.


The Braves also suffered penalties for circumventing global signing rules in recent years.

Finally, former general manager John Coppolella was placed on the permanently ineligible list, effective immediately, while former assistant Gordon Blakeley will be suspended for one year.

The investigation found the franchise "circumvented global signing rules from 2015 to 2017".

The 12 players who the Braves will lose have already cost the organization more than $20 million in signing bonuses and penalties for going over the allotted bonus maximums. "We are instituting the changes necessary to prevent this from ever happening again and remain excited about the future of Braves baseball".

The Dodgers, Angels and other teams have exceeded their bonus pools for signing global amateurs at various times, well aware that the result would be a severe reduction on what they could offer worldwide amateurs for the subsequent two years.

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