MLBPA launches investigation following Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos’ comments
Tony Clark, the executive director of the MLB Players’ Association, issued a statement on Wednesday in which he said the union would be investigating the comments of Atlanta Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos.
Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, Anthopoulos said the Braves had a chance to get a sense of what other clubs are going to look to do in free agency and who might be available in trades.
Atlanta GM Alex Anthopoulos told reporters Tuesday: ‘Every day you get more information. And we’ve had time to connect with 27 of the clubs….but we had a chance to get a sense of what the other clubs are going to look to do in free agency, who might be available in trades.”
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) November 6, 2019
Clark found that quote concerning because it indicates potential coordination between teams regarding free agents, which is against MLB rules.
“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,” Clark said in a statement, via Ken Rosenthal.
Anthopoulos’ statement may have been innocuous; teams need to conduct due diligence every offseason and try to figure out what their opponents are doing. Talking with other clubs about potential trades is also part of the game. But after the way free agency has been going — with players increasingly not seeing markets materialize the last two offseasons — you can understand why Clark would be concerned.
If teams are sharing with each other whether they will be bidding on certain free agents or not, that would be against rules. If teams are sharing desired trade targets and areas of desired improvement, that would not be against the rules.