Happy Valentine’s Day from HBT

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Some people say Valentine’s Day is a Hallmark holiday.  Other people think it’s an important day on which to express one’s love for another. Still others, no matter what they think of the day’s legitimacy, dread it either because they have no love in their life or because they do but they can’t stand the expectations and anxiety Valentine’s Day causes.

I don’t know where I fall on that continuum. It’s been a rather extreme year for me, romantically-speaking.  As a lot of you know, I’m getting divorced and that’s kind of a drag.  But as some of you also know, I’m in a new relationship and that’s pretty exciting.  What I feel about love and the rituals which surround it is very different depending on when, exactly, you ask me.

But I do know this:  if everyone who has a special someone in their life got them this card, the world would be a more romantic place:

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Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone.

Braves expected to lose as many as 12 prospects as a result of international signing violations

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UPDATE: Jeff Passan of Yahoo reports that the Braves are expected to lose as many as 12 players as a result of the sanctions, plus they’ll suffer significant restrictions on international signings for the next four years, plus they will lose a draft pick in next year’s draft.

2:46PM: Major League Baseball is expected to announce its sanctions against the Atlanta Braves for their international signing violations as early as this afternoon. Earlier today a handful of reports came out suggesting what at least part of those penalties will entail. Think multiple prospects signed in the last year or two.

Ben Badler of Baseball America reports that shortstop Kevin Maitan, catcher Abrahan Gutierrez, second baseman Yunior Severino and righthander Juan Contreras — the Braves top four international signees of 2016 — will all become restricted free agents, but it is not clear what the restrictions will be. Maitan, it should be noted, was the number one ranked international prospect in all of baseball last year. Severino was the eighth-ranked, Gutierrez the 15th-ranked and Conrearas the 41st-ranked.

In addition to losing prospects, there will likewise be financial penalties and, most likely, future signing restrictions. The severity of these penalties suggest that, whatever the specifics of the violations MLB has found to have been committed by the Braves, they are unprecedented in scope and severity.