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Report: Braves' John Hart Had No Role in Rule Violations That Led to GM's Exit

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistOctober 30, 2017

Atlanta Braves President of Baseball Operations John Hart, center, talks with reporters in the dugout before a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, May 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

Atlanta Braves President John Hart reportedly was not involved in any of the infractions that ultimately led to former general manager John Coppolella and international scouting director Gordon Blakeley resigning in early October, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.

Per Crasnick, "The Braves broke MLB rules related to both the domestic amateur draft and the international signing market."

The investigation reportedly found that Coppolella "acted without knowledge or approval from Hart or John Schuerholz, the team's vice chairman." However, the league is still determining which, if any, lower-level employees committed any violations during Coppolella's tenure.

But according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, "It's expected that lawsuits will be filed by Coppolella or Blakeley or possibly both, presumably because of how the Braves handled the investigation."

The Braves could be facing "a fine, loss of picks in the June first-year draft and the loss of international pool space" depending on the findings of the league's investigation into the matter. Per Crasnick, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred is expected to publicly address the matter and announce any sanctions following the World Series. 

The Braves have continued their search for a new general manager in the interim. According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Braves are reportedly interested in Toronto Blue Jays vice president of baseball operations Ben Cherington.

Meanwhile, Crasnick noted that the Kansas City Royals denied a request from the Braves to speak with general manager Dayton Moore. O'Brien added that Washington Nationals assistant general manager Doug Harris and special assistant Dan Jennings were also candidates for the job.

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