Major League Baseball will interview Braves president of baseball operations John Hart as part of its investigations into the club’s international dealings, tweets MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. To this point, it’s unclear whether Hart is at risk of discipline, though the very fact that he remains with the club after former GM John Coppolella has been forced to resign could be telling. The Macon Telegraph reported over the weekend that Hart was by no means an innocent bystander in the scandal, though it’s unlikely that the league will announce anything definitive in the near future. Braves CEO Terry McGuirk said this morning that MLB’s investigation is near its conclusion, per Tim Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, but McGuirk also stressed that the league isn’t likely to reveal its findings until the World Series has concluded. McGuirk sidestepped making any telling comments about the investigation but did say: “I don’t think there will be any questions (unanswered) when we are able to discuss it.”
More on the Braves and their division…
- Bowman also reports (on Twitter) that former Rockies manager and Braves infielder Walt Weiss is among the candidates to join the Braves’ coaching staff in 2018. Weiss could slot in as the bench coach under manager Brian Snitker, replacing Terry Pendleton in that role.
- The Marlins are likely to retain Stan Meek to oversee the June amateur draft even after bringing Gary Denbo over from the Yankees, reports MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro. While Denbo was tabbed as the team’s VP of player development and scouting, it’d be a tall task to head up the team’s player development efforts and also dedicate the time and energy needed to oversee the team’s draft process. Manager Don Mattingly and most of his coaching staff are expected to be retained, though Frisaro notes that there could be some changes depending on other teams’ managerial pursuits. Third base coach Fredi Gonzalez, for instance, has already interviewed to serve as the Tigers’ next skipper.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post makes a case for the Mets to bring Todd Frazier on board as a free agent this offseason. Frazier’s penchant for drawing walks and slugging homers are appealing to GM Sandy Alderson, Sherman writes, and he could help the team in the likely event that David Wright again misses significant time due to injury or should Dominic Smith prove to need further minor league refinement. Frazier’s clubhouse persona would also be a boost for a team that is trying to alter its clubhouse culture for the better. It’s possible that clubs in more dire need of a third baseman would offer more than the Mets, though Sherman also points out that the New Jersey native could be particularly intrigued by playing close to his home.