As a result of the Braves’ transgressions on the foreign market from 2015-17, former international scouting director and special assistant Gordon Blakeley lost his job in October and received a one-year ban from Major League Baseball last month. Now, Blakeley is preparing to meet with members of the team’s ownership group, Liberty Media, on Dec. 14 to discuss those violations, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports. Blakeley contends that there were high-ranking Braves officials aware of what he and permanently banned ex-GM John Coppollela were doing, per O’Brien, and it seems he’s set to name names in his meeting with ownership. To this point, MLB has punished Blakeley, Coppolella and the team itself, which the league stripped of 13 prospects the prior regime signed. Former president John Hart has dodged discipline from MLB thus far, but he’s now out of the Atlanta organization.
More from around the game:
- Free agent left-hander Xavier Cedeno is generating “a lot of interest from other clubs” in the wake of the Rays’ decision to non-tender him on Friday, agent Melvin Roman told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link). However, the reliever hasn’t ruled out re-signing with the Rays, who elected against tendering him at a projected $1.4MM. The 31-year-old Cedeno missed nearly all of 2017 on account of forearm issues, but he was a strong member of the Rays’ bullpen from 2015-16, registering a 2.88 ERA, 9.18 K/9 and 2.67 BB/9 across 84 1/3 innings. He also logged a 51.3 percent groundball rate during that stretch.
- Joe Trezza of MLB.com profiles Japanese reliever Kazuhisa Makita, who was quietly posted along with the far more hyped Shohei Ohtani on Friday. While Makita has pitched to a 2.83 ERA over 921 1/3 professional frames in his homeland, the submariner’s success has come in spite of a paucity of strikeouts (five per nine innings). It’s unclear how much interest the 33-year-old will garner from MLB teams, then, and Trezza relays (via reports from Japan) that Makita will consider staying put if he only draws minor league contract offers.
- The Padres are hiring Josh Johnson as their infield coach, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune tweets. The 31-year-old Johnson, who managed the GCL Nationals from 2016-17, isn’t to be confused with the former major league pitcher of the same name. In his new role, Johnson will take over for Ramon Vazquez, whom the Padres parted with after the season. With Johnson’s hiring, San Diego now has its full coaching staff for 2018.
I bet Makuhita gets an MLB contract. Cards did well with Oh even if his second season wasnt as dominant. Like a cheaper/better Ziegler.
This stuff came from the top…….The Braves Way !
Wow the Padres love to give Josh Johnson money. He must have secret information against them.
Whooops wrong guy. Reading is fundamental. I still stand by original statement though.
At least you owned up to it hahaha most people can’t admit when they misread something
Transgressions is the right word for what the Braves we’re doing, simply breaking rules. But were they doing anything actually unethical by simply just buying players? No different than Colleges giving recruits and players benefits, signing bonus on top of contracts, endorsement deals, etc.
I’d venture to say most clubs are doing the same thing, they just got caught first. But is anyone really offended or hurt by their actions?
yes, the 12 or so prospects that are now out of a job and need to find a new team. Also, comparing this scandal to college football is wrong. College’s don’t buy players, they attract players by offering scholarships.
I believe the players got to keep any signing bonuses and they become free agents, so they can sign again.
The guys who should be worried are Hart and Schuerholz (and maybe McGuirk.)
JS just made it to the Hall of Fame, but he may be forced into ‘early retirement.’ And Hart may face a ban lasting a few years himself.
The 12 prospects keep the money and can now sign again, basically getting to double dip.
And yes, colleges do offer more than just scholarships to entice players to come go their school. They buy players
Lol at colleges don’t buy players. Must be a Bama fan
Do you seriously believe that these big time college programs don’t pay these recruits under the table ? Really ?
Boy you are so naive!!
Wow you think colleges do not buy players! They just offer scholarships?
I will just give you the benefit of the doubt ans say you are just naive and leave it at that. But wake up man
Nobody likes a rat
nobody likes getting forced into being a scapegoat either. If Blakely was truly following directions from his superiors, then I think ownership needs to know about that.
And as far as ratting goes, my sincere hope is that Coppy ends up on 60 minutes or an E:60 episode and throws all of MLB under that bus for making the same infractions that the Braves did. He is already banned for life, and without breaking any laws, there is really nothing else that MLB can do to him. So I really do hope that Coppy does blow this whole thing up.
Haha that would be something to watch, I would if I was him, he’s got nothing to lose anyway. Like you said he didn’t actually break any laws so he wouldn’t be incriminating himself.
My question is, WHY didn’t he name names to MLB during the investigation?
Because he is saving that for the lawsuit.
I knew everyone in the FO had to be in on it.
Coppy should just meet with MLB and throw everyone under the Bus in exchange for a lesser punishment.
Coppy is not getting a lesser punishment ever
Weather Report of Atlanta
True, but he might have a shot of getting out of the metaphorical fecal pile and get on with his life outside of MLB. Might as well come clean, he’s gone through the worst of it.