What a day. The Braves front office got a major shakeup on Monday after news surfaced that general manager John Coppolella would resign amid an MLB investigation into the organization and their practices in the international market. Further details emerged throughout the day, and it was reported that the league would be looking into the signings of both Venezuelan infielder Kevin Maitan and 2017 second-round pick Drew Waters. In addition to the resignation of Coppolella, special assistant Gordon Blakeley has also left the organization in connection with the investigations. John Hart will serve as GM in the interim as the Braves work through their current situation.
The link above will direct you to the story stream, where all of Talking Chop’s content regarding Coppolella and the fallout of his actions can be found. Needless to say, this was a bad day for the Braves and for baseball. Having a well-respected organization tarnished by a myriad of ethical issues that have come to light is of no small consequence to the league, and will no doubt carry with it a heavy penalty for the franchise in the future. As always, Talking Chop will have you covered on all things regarding this situation and the aftermath to follow.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports wrote a lengthy story detailing the Braves’ current predicament and what we may be able to expect going forward. The transgressions mentioned in the piece are certainly damaging to the Braves, but is absolutely brutal with regards to Coppolella and his rise to power. Our own Eric Cole has the breakdown of Passan’s article:
The important details of the piece are that Coppolella appears to, to put it mildly, played fast and loose with the rules regarding tampering...even with other teams’ players. It also seems to confirm that MLB execs around the league really did not like Coppy’s tactics and they went scorched earth to go after him with the help of Major League Baseball.
Another important piece of information is that there are specific players at risk. We have already covered that Kevin Maitan, the Braves’ heralded international signee from Venezuela, is the target of MLB’s current investigation surrounding an apartment he lived in. Another potential problem: Drew Waters, the Braves second round pick, is currently being looked at due to Coppy off-handedly offered him a car in exchange for signing underslot. So far, it looks like the international signing violations are of greater concern.
The Braves are reportedly compiling a list of candidates to fill their vacant general manager position, and the most prevalent name to come out is Royals GM Dayton Moore. Once a member of the Braves front office under John Schuerholz, Moore is familiar with the organization and would bring a championship pedigree over from Kansas City. Like all GM’s, some of his moves have been highly controversial, but he is experienced and has been successful in his current post.
Sometimes it helps to talk to someone, and other times it helps to listen to someone. In light of all the commotion on Monday, the TC Podcast with Brad Rowland and Eric Cole has you covered and helps to put the situation in perspective. Give it a listen and get more acclimated with how the league might proceed in their investigations and how the Braves might proceed in the aftermath.
The 2017 Postseason begins tonight with the Yankees and Twins squaring off in New York for the Wild Card Game. The pitching matchup features Luis Severino of the Yankees and Ervin Santana of the Twins on the mound.
As the postseason begins, it can be fun to take a crack at predicting who will advance and who will ultimately win the World Series. Analysts from MLB.com and MLB Network provided their predictions for how things will play out over the next month.