Major League Baseball penalizes Braves for global spending violations


According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, Kevin Maitan is one of 12 players on the Braves expected to become a free agent as a result of MLB's investigation into the club's global and domestic signing violations.

The team will also receive penalties for the next two worldwide signing periods, with Major League Baseball prohibiting the team from signing any global player for more than $10,000 during 2019-20, while also having their 2020-21 signing bonus pool money cut in half.

The biggest name is the 17-year-old Maitan, a switch-hitting shortstop from Venezuela who signed for $4.25 million and was one of the most highly touted prospects from Latin America in the last decade.

If the money had been counted for the other five, the Braves would have exceeded their pool by more than 5 percent and been restricted to signing bonuses of US$300,000 or under for worldwide amateurs through June 15, 2019.

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. Each of the players will be forced to use an agent different than the buscon, or trainer, who negotiated their original deals. He reported that the Braves had broken several rules, with the most severe being the packaging of signing bonuses.

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The Braves also suffered penalties for circumventing global signing rules in recent years. He will remain with Atlanta.

The highest-profile signee that the Braves will lose is infielder Kevin Maitan.

Peter Gammons asked an important question on Twitter on Tuesday when he wondered who in Braves' ownership was the one giving the OK for all of the cash spent on these prospects?

The first US$200,000 of a signing bonus will not count against a team's limit, but the US$300,000 maximum remains for teams subject to the penalty for exceeding their pool under the previous labor contract.

As the investigation into the Braves unfolded, executives around baseball agreed that other teams disregard the rules in similar fashion to Atlanta. They lost 12 prospects, will be restricted in signing periods in the short-term future, and are also going to lose out in the draft.