As you’re probably aware, Major League Baseball is investigating the Atlanta Braves for scouting and free agent signing infractions in Latin America. The Braves front office is in turmoil as a result of these infractions, with general manager John Coppollela and a top assistant getting fired and, according to some reports, threatening litigation. The team is currently being run by former GM John Hart on an interim basis. The club was denied permission to interview Royals general manager Dayton Moore to fill the vacancies.
It’s hard to imagine anyone wanting to jump ship to join the Braves at the moment, as it’s unclear what penalties they will be assessed by Major League Baseball. Yes, the club has a good farm system, but it’s not unreasonable to think that MLB will take away draft picks and, possibly, rescind the signings of one or more international free agents as punishment. Unless and until that’s cleared up, the Braves aren’t going to have a ton of great candidates to choose from to fill their GM vacancy.
That limbo is going to last even longer, reports Jerry Crasnick of ESPN:
#Braves fans are going to have to be in suspense a while longer. #MLB still has some work to do in its investigation into John Coppolella and the team’s rules violations. A resolution probably won’t come until December.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) November 9, 2017
Baseball’s general manager meetings begin in Orlando on Monday, so John Hart — who may or may not still be with the club after penalties are announced — will represent the team. The Winter Meetings begin on December 10. It’s hard to imagine that the club will have someone permanent in place by then. Even if they do, his knowledge of the team and its assets will likely be limited due to having such little time on the job.
All of which is to say that the offseason is going just wonderfully for the Braves so far. Absolutely spiffy.