This is going to hurt....a lot.
We, along with many others including the fine folks over at Baseball America, have been covering the massacre as more and more prospects as a result of MLB’s investigation into the Braves’ dealings on the international free agent market. Every hour it seemed like a couple more names were added.
It is going to get far, far worse.
NEWS: Major League Baseball will hammer the Atlanta Braves for significant international and domestic rules violations and declare 12 minor league players free agents, including highly touted 17-year-old Kevin Maitan. Story at Yahoo Sports: https://t.co/y2esq7o2Uh— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 21, 2017
Other penalties: The Braves will not be allowed to sign 14-year-old shortstop Robert Puason, the top player in the class of 2019, with whom they had illegally struck a deal. Atlanta also will lose a third-round draft pick in 2018 for offering inducements to a drafted player.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 21, 2017
Yes, you are reading that right. The total number of players that the Braves will lose will be 12 (!). As of this writing, there are six known players in Kevin Maitan, Abrahan Gutierrez, Livan Soto, Yefri del Rosario, Yunior Severino, and Juan Contreras.
The Braves will also have severe signing restrictions placed on them for two years through 2021 (they are already restricted for the next signing period) and be banned from signing Robert Puason altogether due to agreeing to a deal with him well before he was eligible to sign.
The Braves will also be losing a 3rd round pick in 2018 for violations regarding the domestic draft by trying to induce a player or players with improper benefit.
We all wanted to know how bad this could get...well now we know and it is incredibly bad. We will keep you posted as this story develops.