By CHARLES ODUM
AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) – Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred hit the Atlanta Braves with heavy sanctions, including the loss of 13 players, on Tuesday for rules violations committed by the team in the international player market.
Manfred also placed former Braves general manager John Coppolella on the permanently ineligible list. Former Braves Special Assistant Gordon Blakeley, who was the team’s international scouting chief, is suspended from performing services for any team for one year.
Manfred said an investigation conducted by Major League Baseball determined the Braves circumvented international signing rules from 2015 through 2017 by moving bonus pool money from one player to boost another player’s contract.
Most notable among the players the Braves will lose is Kevin Maitan, an infielder from Venezuela who signed for $4.25 million in 2016.