Major League Baseball strips Atlanta Braves of 12 prospects, bans former GM for life

Major League Baseball strips Atlanta Braves of 12 prospects, bans former GM for life

The Braves lost 13 prospects and former general manager John Coppolella was banned for life by Major League Baseball for circumventing worldwide signing rules from 2015-17.

Additionally, the Braves will be prohibited from signing any worldwide player for more than $10,000 during the 2019-20 signing period and their global signing bonus pool for the 2020-21 signing period will be reduced by 50 percent.

Coppolella was served with MLB's ultimate punishment, and his special assistant during his Braves' tenure, Gordon Blakeley, was banned from the game for a year. The most heralded among them, Venezuelan shortstop Kevin Maitan, 17, signed for $4.25 million in 2016, when he was ranked by Baseball America as the top global amateur prospect. He will be eligible to sign with the 29 other teams, who will be able to use leftover money from the current global signing period or dip into their 2017-18 bonus pools to sign the ex-Braves, a source familiar with the penalties said. The investigation also found the Braves offered impermissible benefits to a player selected in the First-Year Player Draft, persuading said player to sign for a lower amount. In 2019-20, Atlanta will be restricted from spending more than $10,000 per player - and will be banned from signing Robert Puason, the 14-year-old shortstop from the Dominican Republic with whom the Braves had struck a deal deemed illegal because of his age. He reported that the Braves had broken several rules, with the most severe being the packaging of signing bonuses. He will remain with Atlanta.

Other "high-value" players the Braves will lose include Juan Contreras, Yefri del Rosario, Abrahan Gutierrez, Juan Carlos Negret, Yenci Pena, Yunior Severino, Livan Soto and Guillermo Zuniga.

MS-13 Members Stabbed Maryland Man, Decapitated Him, Tore Out Heart
Lopez-Abrego is illegally in the US and now in immigration proceedings, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Because the gang members are under the age of 18, the U.S.is unable to lawfully return them to their home countries.

The Braves have been in rebuilding mode, relying on younger prospects.

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.

The Braves were forced to give up 12 prospects they had signed for an excess of $20 million due to their rule violations.

This is not to say that the former GM and his special assistant did nothing wrong: It's just a reminder that the Braves, as an organization, are at fault here, but for some reason, Major League Baseball chose to punish those who are already gone the most.

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