MLB’s penalties against the Braves finally come down
We’ve been waiting for months to see how the league was going to come down on the Braves after they’ve been investigating them for violations in the international amateur free agent market. The league, apparently, was not messing around. The penalties against Atlanta were incredibly harsh, beginning with their former general manager John Coppolella being banned for life from the league. This was not one of the rumored penalties, at least from what I’d seen, and it a major, major issuance. As far as their prospects go, 12 Atlanta minor leaguers have been made free agents by the league. That group is led by Kevin Maitan, who was one of the best international prospects in recent years. Still only 17, he is coming off a rough year in the Braves system but still figures to be a popular free agent. The Red Sox will have a chance to sign him and any of the other newly-named free agents. The players will be subject to the international signing pool, but teams have the option of using their 2018-2019 money to sign the players. In other words, Boston can offer Maitan all of their money from next summer to bring in the top prospect. The only stipulation is that teams can’t combine money from this year’s pool and next year’s. Instead, they need to pick one or the other. This is just another wrinkle added to what should be a fascinating offseason around the league.
MLB, MLBPA and NPB agree to new posting system
We’ve been waiting for weeks to figure out a new posting system, and that development has seemingly been holding back the entire offseason. Teams are waiting to see if Shohei Otani will really be coming stateside this winter and what it will cost teams to acquire him. Now that they know he will be coming over, plans can start to be enacted. The Japanese superstar is going to be highly sought after this winter, and we can expect the Red Sox to be involved despite not having much money left in their international free agent pool. The competition will be stiff, though the Yankees, Rangers and Dodgers are the apparent favorites early in the process.