MLB bans former Braves GM John Coppolella for life after prospect violations

MLB banned former Braves GM John Coppolella for life. (Hyosub Shin/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, File)
MLB banned former Braves GM John Coppolella for life. (Hyosub Shin/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, File)

Former Atlanta Braves general manager John Coppolella has been banned for life. As part of the punishments handed down by commissioner Rob Manfred for the team’s mishandling of players on the international market, Coppolella was placed on the permanently ineligible list.

Manfred released a statement Tuesday, detailing the results of Major League Baseball’s investigation into the Braves’ questionable tactics on the international player market. The final paragraph of that statement begins, “With respect to individual discipline, former Braves General Manager John Coppolella will be placed on the permanently ineligible list, effective immediately.”

Former Braves special assistant Gordon Blakeley will receive a year-long suspension as well. Manfred will also discipline other Baseball Operations employees who were involved in the team’s misconduct.

With the move, Coppolella joins former New York Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia and former St. Louis Cardinals scouting director Chris Correa as the only individuals to be permanently banned from baseball during Manfred’s tenure as commissioner. Mejia was banned after failing three drug tests. Correa’s punishment came as a result of the Cardinals hacking scandal.

The decision to ban Coppolella was one of the many harsh penalties handed out to the Braves on Tuesday. The team lost 12 prospects the league deemed they signed illegally, was charged a third-round draft pick and will face severe limitations on their spending on the international market over the next few seasons.

Coppolella rose through the ranks of the Braves’ organization, eventually being named the team’s general manager in 2015. He resigned in Oct. 2017 after it was revealed the league was investigating the team.

Manfred’s statement does not address whether Coppolella will be allowed to apply for reinstatement in the future.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik