Braves GM John Coppolella Resigns Amid MLB Investigation

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistOctober 2, 2017

Atlanta Braves interim manager Brian Snitker, left, listens as the team's president of baseball operations John Hart speaks during a news conference Monday, Oct. 3, 2016, in Atlanta.  Hart and general manager John Coppolella both said that Snitker is in the running to keep his job based on the way the team responded to his leadership.  (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

Atlanta Braves general manager John Coppolella resigned Monday, according to Jon Morosi of MLB.com, stemming from a "breach of Major League Baseball rules regarding the international player market."

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic added that Gordon Blakeley, special assistant to the general manager, would also resign in the wake of MLB's investigation into the team and was "also involved in the issues the Braves are facing."

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported that the league "has been investigating Coppolella in recent weeks," and team president John Hart said MLB has the organization's "full cooperation and support" in that probe, per Morosi.

Passan added more background details into MLB's investigation:

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Jerry Crasnick of ESPN later reported that the violations are the "tip of the iceberg" and that the league is "looking into infractions in multiple areas."

Coppolella also reportedly wasn't a popular figure among MLB front offices, per Passan and Joel Sherman of the New York Post:

As for Hart, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports noted that while his contract is up with the organization, he will remain with the team and "wasn't intending to leave anyway" and that the Braves "need a veteran to guide them now."

In a statement, the Braves stated that Hart would serve as the interim general manager until the position could be filled (h/t Mark Feinsand of MLB.com). The club confirmed that the search for a new general manager would begin immediately.

As Passan concluded, "The Braves' GM job, especially if Hart goes, is exceedingly coveted." Passan added: "It's undeniable that under Coppolella's watch the Braves' farm system grew into one of the game's best. Very well-positioned to win."

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