Braves

Braves GM John Coppolella resigns in the wake of international signing infractions

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Big news out of Atlanta a few moments ago as Ken Rosenthal reports that Braves general manager John Coppolella has resigned in the wake of allegations that he breached rules in connection with signings of international players. Special assistant to the GM Gordon Blakeley is also resigning, Rosenthal says.

The specific nature of the infractions are not known yet, but Jeff Passan reports that Major League Baseball has been investigating the Braves in general and Coppolella specifically in recent weeks for a host of issues including international signings and other issues as well. Passan says “MLB was looking into everything from Braves’ int’l operations to its domestic draft to Coppolella’s treatment of Braves employees.” He says there has been considerable infighting in the organization in recent weeks.

There have been few if any external signs of strife with the Braves, apart from maybe the up-in-the-air status of manager Brian Snitker, who some are reported to want to bring back while others do not. What Rosenthal and Passan are talking about here, however, appears to be far broader and far more serious than any difference of baseball opinions. Indeed, it appears to be the sort of thing that could lead to sanctions against the Braves for rules violations.

John Hart, president of baseball operations, will take over as GM on an interim basis while the club looks for a new GM. He said that the Braves are cooperating with MLB’s investigation but that they will have no further comment at this time.

Obviously we will learn more about this in the coming days.

Report: Mets showing interest in Bartolo Colon

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Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.

Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.

Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.