4:32 PM (5 hours ago)
“Death Sentence in Baseball”
It happened a year ago to the Cardinals.
Now it’s happened again, this time to the Atlanta Braves.
A year ago, MLB unloaded on the St. Louis Cardinals, when their scouting director was caught hacking into the Houston Astros scouting files, stealing information from their computer system.
It has led to a jail sentence for the head of scouting, a massive fine to the Cardinals.
The St Louis official took scouting reports…internal memos….emails between Astros club officials….medical reports….notes on trade conference calls and contract negotating lists plus more.
it was pretty sleazy.
And now the hammer has fallen on the Atlanta Braves, for ‘egregious’ violations of the new International Signing Cap rules.
Braves GM-John Coppolello was suspended for life by baseball for 3-years worth of violations.
Dealing in Latin America has always been sordid, and baseball has had its hands full setting up rules for agents, trainers, black market drug dealing, falsified documents, birth certificates and more.
The Braves had developed a rogue blueprint of violating the spending cap.
They could write ‘bonus checks’ for agents, to convince the Latin American players to sign ‘below slot’ contracts, so the club could overspend to sign another player in a bidding war.
They gave kickbacks to agents who delivered a package of players, a star, and a couple of others, at under slotted figures.
They tampered with 14-and-15 years olds, advancing them money, to guarantee when they turned 16-they would sign with Atlanta.
They bought cars and apartments for families of player, who would sign for below slot amounts, but would make it up with the perks the club was giving them.
They did the same deals for US-draft picks on at least once occasion.
They filed phony documents three years in a row detailing how much they spent on International signings-misreporting each year, so they could spend more the next year.
And then it all came tumbling down. Turned in by honest Latin American scouts, and execs from other clubs who had suspicions after the Braves signed blue chipper after blue chipper.
Atlanta will pay a severe price, worse than the Cardinals exec paid.
The GM is gone for life from the game.
His lead assistant is out of baseball for a year.
As many at 10-international scouts, couriers, will be disciplined.
The top 12-international players the Braves signed over the last thee years, have been declared free agents, including 4.5M-shortstop Kevin Maitan.
The top four players in the class of 2016 have been declared free agents.
The Braves had had their international signing pools slashed by 50% for three straight years. They have 2M a year to spend, most everyone else in excess of 5M
They will be limited to giving only 10,000-dollar bonuses to any player over the next four years. The going rate of big money Latin players are 3-to-4M per year.
They will be banned from signing the top player they had tampered with, when he became eligible in 2019.
They’ve been stripped of a high pick in the 2018-US based draft.
It’s pretty severe, but then what Atlanta’s GM did was pretty severe too, in terms of violations.
It you aim’t cheating, you aim’t trying, the old phrase goes. You get caught cheating in baseball, you might get your hands cut off.
Braves GM-John Coppolello should introduce himself to Pete Rose, both on baseball’s suspended list. They can have coffee with Chris Correa, the Cardinals scouting director, once he gets out of prison.