Former Atlanta Braves general manager John Coppolella has been banned for life by Major League Baseball in a punishment that stems from multiple violations in the international market.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred issued a statement Tuesday announcing Coppolella's ban, via MLB.com's Mark Feinsand:
In addition to Coppolella's lifetime ban, former Braves special assistant Gordon Blakeley was suspended one year.
The Braves organization responded to MLB's decision, “…the Braves cooperated fully throughout this investigation and we understand and accept the decision regarding the penalties that have been handed down.”
Manfred also announced 13 players the Braves signed illegally during the 2015-17 international free-agent period have been released from their contracts, making them eligible to sign with any team. The Braves are prohibited from signing any international players for more than $10,000 during the 2019-20 window, and their international signing bonus pool in 2020-21 will be cut by 50 percent.
As Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports noted, Manfred's sanctions against the Braves are "the sort of penalty that will make teams think long and hard about cheating."
Coppolella resigned as Atlanta's general manager on October 2 following an MLB investigation into the team's international signing methods. The 38-year-old took over the position in October 2015 after previously serving as the Braves' director of baseball operations and assistant general manager.