Earlier tonight, Tony Clark of the MLBPA announced that he is investigating Alex Anthopoulos for comments made regarding free agency.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Clark specifically said, “The statements made by Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos call into the question the integrity of the entire free-agent system. The clear description of Club coordination is egregious, and we have launched an immediate investigation looking into the matter.”
Following Monday’s flurry of moves that included re-signing both Tyler Flowers and Nick Markakis, Anthopoulos was quoted telling the media, “Every day you get more information. And we’ve had time to connect with 27 of the clubs – obviously the Astros and (Nationals) being in the World Series, they were tied up – but we had a chance to get a sense of what the other clubs are going to do in free agency, who might be available in trades.”
The reality of the situation, from the Braves’ perspective, is there is little reason to worry about this too much. Anthopoulos clearly wasn’t insinuating any collusion, and there’s nothing in these statements that can prove anything. This is a witch hunt by the MLBPA, who was unhappy with how free agency went down a year ago. Bryce Harper and Manny Machado took months to join their new teams, while guys like Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel – All-Star caliber players – had to wait until mid-June.
The MLBPA wants to ensure that won’t be a problem this time around, so their fishing for anything to throw a fuss about. The irony is, eventually, Anthopoulos was going to collect this information and assuming there is no collusion, it should only help speed up the free agency process.
Just minutes ago, Anthopoulos released a statement in regards to the allegations.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) November 7, 2019
David O’Brien of The Athletic was one of the media members on the call with Anthopoulos when he made those comments. Here is what he had to say:
Union office called me to ask about Alex's quote, I told them I didn't think it indicated anything other than #Braves trying to see what other teams pursuing in free agency in order to discern who might be available in trade. Union made a big deal of it anyway. Way overblown IMO. https://t.co/WKq7KamhVr
— David O'Brien (@DOBrienATL) November 6, 2019
That was the consensus from baseball writers around America, emphasizing just how tarnished the relationship is between the players and management. Anthopoulos could have worded himself better, and the MLBPA will dig around, but unless they find something else, this should blow over painlessly.