MLB Removing Prospects From Braves

MLB Removing Prospects From Braves

One of the top prospects in baseball is suddenly a free agent, the biggest hammer to drop from sweeping punishments against the Braves for improper behavior while signing amateur talent.

Infielder Kevin Maitan, a 17-year-old Venezuelan that the Braves invested upwards of $4 million in signing, was one of 12 Atlanta prospects immediately declared a free agent by the league.

"I intend to discipline other Braves' International Baseball Operations employees who participated in the misconduct after the completion of our internal procedures", Manfred said in a statement.

MLB announced Coppolella has been placed on the permanently ineligible list, effectively ending his baseball career, and Blakeley has been suspended from baseball for a year.

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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"Had the Club signed the five players to contracts containing their actual bonuses, however, the Braves would have exceeded their signing bonus pool by more than five percent and would have been, under Major League Baseball rules, restricted from signing any players during the next two signing periods for contracts with bonuses greater than $300,000". They will need to find a new agent than the one who negotiated their deals with the Braves, Yahoo Sports reported. Additionally, the Braves entered into additional package agreements in both 2016 and 2017, signing Brandol Mezquita, Angel Rojas and Antonio Sucre. At least three other players signed for a bonus of more than $1 million.

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

The sanctions deal a significant blow to a farm system considered by many the best in baseball.

The Braves will also have a $10,000 signing cap on global free agents in 2019-20, have their bonus pool reduced by 50 percent in 2020-21 and forfeit their third-round draft pick in 2018. Atlanta has been tanking and compiling a treasure trove of quality prospects for the past couple of seasons.

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