Player News

Date: Team: Pos:

Major League Baseball has confirmed in a statement that the Braves will lose the rights to shortstop prospect Kevin Maitan and 12 other international signees.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports was first to report on the full breadth of the sanctions. These include a lifetime ban for former general manager John Coppolella, a one-year ban for former scout Gordon Blakeley, significant restrictions in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 international free agent classes, forfeiture of a third-round pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, and varying punishments for other members of the Braves' international baseball operations department. The dozen players (beyond Maitan) who are no longer under Atlanta's control: Juan Contreras, Yefri del Rosario, Abrahan Gutierrez, Juan Carlos Negret, Yenci Peña, Yunior Severino, Livan Soto, Guillermo Zuniga, Brandol Mezquita, Angel Rojas, Antonio Sucre, and Ji Hwan Bae. The hammer has dropped.
Nov 21 - 4:19 PM

Will Venable has been named the Cubs' new first base and outfield coach.

Venable joined the Cubs' front office this past September as a special assistant to the president and general manager, and now he'll move into an on-field coaching role for the 2018 campaign. The 35-year-old graduated from Princeton University before playing parts of nine seasons in the major leagues.
Nov 21 - 4:06 PM

The Angels have hired Josh Paul as their bench coach.

Paul, who had a nine-year career in MLB as a catcher, has been working in player development with the Yankees. He'll replace Dino Ebel, who will make the shift from bench coach to third base coach for 2018. Paul appeared in 80 games with the Angels from 2004-2005, including the 2005 postseason.
Nov 21 - 3:41 PM

Aaron Judge underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder Monday.

The procedure involved a loose-body removal and cartilage clean-up. The good news is that he's expected to be recovered in time for spring training. It was acknowledged that Judge had a shoulder issue during his slide after the All-Star break, though he tried to downplay the severity of the situation. Obviously it was more serious than he wanted to say. Judge won the AL Rookie of the Year Award and finished second in the balloting for the AL MVP after batting .284/.422/.627 with a league-leading 52 homers.
Nov 21 - 3:28 PM

According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, Kevin Maitan is one of 12 players on the Braves expected to become a free agent as a result of MLB's investigation into the club's international and domestic signing violations.

MLB isn't messing around. In addition to losing the prospects, Passan reports that the Braves will be subject to significant restrictions in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 international free agent classes. The club will also lose a third-round pick in 2018 for trying to offer "off-the-books perks" to Drew Waters, who was the 41st overall pick in this year's draft. Finally, the team will be banned from signing 14-year-old Robert Puason after illegally reaching an agreement. The scandal ended up ousting general manager John Coppolella and scout Gordon Blakeley. The new GM Alex Anthopoulos still has a fine farm system even after losing these prospects, but his job just became more challenging.
Source: Yahoo Sports
Nov 21 - 3:17 PM

Orioles acquired RHP Konner Wade from the Rockies for international bonus money.

Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports previously noted rumblings of a deal. Wade, 25, repeated Double-A this past season while posting a 4.28 ERA and 79/21 K/BB ratio over 109 1/3 innings. He has split time between the rotation and the bullpen over the past two seasons.
Nov 21 - 1:30 PM

According to Ben Badler of Baseball America, the Braves will also surrender rights to prospect catcher Abrahan Gutierrez as part of their punishment for international signing violations.

As of now, the Braves are expected to lose six prospects. In addition to Gutierrez and Kevin Maitan, Badler confirms that the club will surrender rights to second baseman Yunior Severino and right-hander Juan Contreras. It's worth noting that these were the club's top-four bonuses from the 2016 international class. According to Badler, the prospects involved in the punishment are expected to have restrictions on their free agency. Gutierrez, 18, batted .264/.319/.357 with one homer and 12 RBI over 35 games in rookie ball this past season.
Nov 21 - 1:14 PM

According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Braves are expected to lose rights to prospect Kevin Maitan as punishment for international signing violations.

It's believed that the Braves surrendered their rights to additional international signings, as well. Fines and restrictions on future spending could also be included. Official word on punishment could come down as soon as Tuesday. The 17-year-old Maitan received a $4.25 million bonus as the top prospect in the 2016 international class. He batted .241/.290/.340 with two homers and 18 RBI over 42 games in rookie ball this season, but he's still very young with a lot of room to grow.
Nov 21 - 12:42 PM

Mark Feinsand of hears from a source that the Marlins and Giants have had "deeper discussions" on a possible Giancarlo Stanton trade.

The source believes that the Giants are the favorites to land Stanton, though the Cardinals are also in the mix. Craig Mish of SiriusXM reported Monday that there was talk of packaging Stanton with Dee Gordon for second baseman Joe Panik and prospects Tyler Beede and Chris Shaw, but it's unclear if such a proposal is seriously being entertained by Miami or how much money would be exchanged. One thing we do know is that Stanton would likely be amenable to a trade to San Francisco. He has the power in this situation due to his full no-trade clause.
Nov 21 - 11:19 AM

According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, MLB and MLBPA officials have "reached compromise" that addresses union concerns on the "pull back" provision for Nippon Professional Baseball clubs in the posting system.

One of the issues has been that NPB clubs have been able to pull back a player if a contract doesn't provide enough compensation in return for a move to MLB. There's apparently been some resolution on the matter, though the specifics aren't yet clear. It remains to be seen whether NPB teams will approve whatever MLB and the MLBPA hammered out, but we should know more soon. There's another 8 p.m. ET deadline on Tuesday. Whether Shohei Otani makes the jump this offseason largely hinges on progress in the posting system.
Nov 21 - 10:48 AM

ESPN's Buster Olney writes that lefty reliever Mike Minor is expected to be among the first free agents to sign.

Olney cites Minor's strong position in the market as one of the most-coveted relievers, with "aggressive interest from a high volume of teams." After missing back-to-back seasons due to injury, Minor thrived with a move to the bullpen this season with a 2.55 ERA and 88/22 K/BB ratio over 77 2/3 innings. He also notched six saves for the Royals. The Mets are among the teams who have shown interest thus far.
Nov 21 - 8:47 AM

Braves acquired RHP Josh Ravin from the Dodgers for cash.

Ravin was designated for assignment earlier Monday but it didn't take long for him to find a new home. He has posted a 5.05 ERA but has struck out 44 over 35 2/3 innings in the majors.
Nov 20 - 10:29 PM

Blue Jays purchased the contract of C Reese McGuire from Double-A New Hampshire.

McGuire, 22, batted .278/.366/.496 with six homers at New Hampshire in an injury-shortened 2017 season. He now cannot be taken in the Rule 5 Draft.
Nov 20 - 10:22 PM

Blue Jays purchased the contract of C Danny Jansen from Triple-A Buffalo.

Jansen, 22, hit .323/.400/.484 with 10 homers across three levels this season. He is now protected from the Rule 5 Draft.
Nov 20 - 10:20 PM

Blue Jays purchased the contract of LHP Thomas Pannone from Double-A New Hampshire.

Pannone, 23, put up a 2.36 ERA and 149/36 K/BB ratio over 144 2/3 frames between High- and Double-A in 2017. He's now protected from the Rule 5 Draft.
Nov 20 - 10:18 PM

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