John Coppolella’s resignation came as a shock to the baseball world. While there have certainly been reports of tension in the Braves front office, many felt that this was due to the manager controversy going on with Brian Snitker, as his status seemingly has changed every week. It appears the problems were way bigger than anyone thought. Coppy has reportedly been being investigated by the MLB for rules violations, and frankly being a scumbag to his peers.
Coppy has done a solid job of laying the foundation for the Braves rebuild alongside John Hart. While his resume is not perfect, he has been widely praised by Braves Country and was thought to be one of the up and coming young minds in baseball. Now, it looks like he may never work in the industry again. The Braves are still being investigated, and more details will emerge. But given what we know currently, what does this mean for the future of the Atlanta Braves?
A new GM will be hired
John Hart will take over GM duties for the Braves in a temporary fashion. While his contract was up after the 2017 season, he planned on staying on board with the team in some capacity regardless. The veteran is now needed more than ever. The Braves will at least have some type of continuity in what they are trying to accomplish during the rebuild process. However, when the team made the statement regarding Cppolella it was made clear another replacement will be found. The rumors regarding Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore are rejuvenating once again. However, the timing may be perfect this time around. The Royals are on the downswing, and the Braves are on the up. Regardless of what sanctions may come down on the Braves, it is unlikely it will deter candidates from a very attractive job right now. The Braves are primed for success, they just need the right captain. They should have no problems finding a viable candidate.
Brian Snitker’s future is as cloudy as ever
Snitker’s future with the team was already cloudy, but with a new general manager likely coming in, this could shake things up. Ron Washington and Bo Porter have been considered serious internal candidates to replace Snitker, but an outside mind may want to bring in his own manager rather than any of the three considering Porter and Snitker’s lack of managerial success and Washington’s off the field issues. This one is anyone’s best guess. However, this could be the first time the Braves go with an external candidate at manager in decades. Frankly, it is likely time, but the players love Snitker. If the Braves go into next season with a new general manager and manager, that is a really unique scenario considering the circumstances. Right now, it is a serious possibility.
The Braves will likely face punishment from the MLB
We do not know what the MLB will do to punish the Braves, but it could range from plucking prospects who were involved in violations out of the system to taking away draft picks. While the Braves will likely be able to find a good general manager to take over the team, they may lose out on some talent, which is really unfortunate. Coppolella and special assistant Gordon Blakely both resigning does not bode well for the Braves. The Boston Red Sox were the most recent team to be punished for international free agent violations, and they lost five players signed during the 2015-16 period and were restricted from signing players during the 2016-17 periods. One would assume the Braves will likely face a similar punishment, but sadly on the surface things are looking more severe on the Braves end.
The lone positive
The Braves may have an easier time making moves without Coppy on board. Per Joel Sherman, many executives have expressed their displeasure in dealing with Coppolella in trade negotiations. Other front offices are seemingly happy he is out. Given what we know now, it likely will not be hard for the Braves to upgrade their front office.