The club announced yesterday that John Coppolella has resigned as general manager of the Atlanta Braves.
And if you think it’s because of his team’s terrible season, guess again.
It wasn’t the low number of wins that led to his exit as much as his low down dealings.
Turns out Coppolella met with MLB last week to be interviewed about several accusations including paying “bundling” bonuses in Latin America to circumvent international signing rules and two more that are still being investigated—under-the-table benefits given to at least one draft pick and pre-draft deals struck well in advance.
MLB puts a cap on signing bonuses allowed for international players. One way teams can circumvent signing bonus limits per player is by signing multiple players represented by the same “buscon”—a Spanish term for a trainer who represents players. They can give greater bonuses to lesser prospects with the money being funneled to the better prospect through the buscon.
And his actions may not just cost him his Braves job. It may cost the Braves a prospect as he may have also worked out an international prospect in America before signing him, which is illegal.
The player they could end up losing is 17-year-old Venezuelan shortstop Kevin Maitan who was signed last year for a $4.25-million bonus.