In a stunning announcement, Major league Baseball has decided to ban former Atlanta Braves general manager John Coppolella for life.

On Tuesday afternoon, MLB decided to hand down one of the most severe punishments in its history, banning former general manager John Coppolella for life after he was found to have skirted international signing rules.

The Braves, where Coppolella has worked for the past three years in his former role, signed a dozen players according to MLB without going through the proper channels. All of this has resulted in the sport cracking down with the stiffest possible penalty, sending a strong message to any other teams thinking of making similar moves.

Atlanta has one of the best farm systems in baseball, partially due to international signings under Coppolella’s watch. A great example of this is 17-years-old Venezuelan shortstop Kevin Maitan, who is expected to become a star at the major league level in the coming years.

The Braves also lost scout Gordon Blakeley, who was removed from the club and subsequently banned for a year. Meanwhile, the organization is losing almost all of its power to sign international prospects for the remainder of the decade, with a $10,000 cap being placed on it for each player.

The Braves might be the ones who are paying the price, but this is clearly meant as a message from commissioner Rob Manfred, with more and more international players coming into the game. Manfred can’t be happy with the dealings by Atlanta, and with the chance to take a huge stance of this issue, he didn’t back down.



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