Major League Baseball on Tuesday announced the results of its investigation into the Atlanta Braves' worldwide signing practices, and the sanctions are significant. The 18-year-old Del Rosario was ranked the No. 4 hurler in the 2016 worldwide class by Baseball America.
In the 2019-20 worldwide signing period, the Braves will be limited to spending $10,000 per player and will not be allowed to sign 14-year-old Robert Puason of the Dominican Republic, who the team had reached an agreement with, because he is too young.
Manfred on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017, also placed former Braves general manager Coppolella on the permanently ineligible list.
Those players include shortstop Kevin Maitan, catcher Abrahan Gutierrez, second baseman Yunior Severino and righthander Juan Contreras, who received the Braves' top four signing bonuses in their 2016 class.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said the league's investigation found that the Braves illegally moved bonus pool money from one player to boost another player's contract.
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The Atlanta Braves have reportedly been hammered by Major League Baseball for violating the rules for signing worldwide prospects.
"During the 2015-16 global signing period, the Braves signed five players subject to the Club's signing bonus pool to contracts containing signing bonuses lower than the bonuses the Club had agreed to provide the players".
In addition to suspending Coppolella and Blakeley, MLB also declared nine Braves players to be free agents. Additionally, the Braves entered into additional package agreements in both 2016 and 2017, signing Brandol Mezquita, Angel Rojas and Antonio Sucre.
The Braves will also have a $10,000 signing cap on worldwide free agents in 2019-20, have their bonus pool reduced by 50 percent in 2020-21 and forfeit their third-round draft pick in 2018. "As MLB stated, the Braves cooperated fully throughout this investigation and we understand and accept the decision regarding the penalties that have been handed down", the team said in a statement.