Former Atlanta Braves general manager John Coppolella has been reinstated by MLB just five years after he was given a lifetime ban from the sport.
John Coppolella will likely have to seek new employment elsewhere given the Braves currently have Alex Anthopoulos as their general manager, but new opportunity awaits.
The former Atlanta general manager was well known for his exploits in international markets, but it was that same flirtation which eventually led to his undoing. Coppolella broke MLB rules by offering players a higher signing bonus to sign in Atlanta. Rob Manfred himself suspended Coppolella for “circumvented international signing rules from 2015 through 2017.”
“We can confirm that Mr. Coppolella has been reinstated, given the more than five years he spent on the ineligible list, the contrition he expressed and the other steps he took in response to this matter,” MLB said in a statement, via The Athletic (subscription required).
Why was John Coppolella suspended?
John Coppolella was suspended for circumventing international signing rules. As a result, he was suspended for life and the Braves were forced to forfeit 13 international prospects they had signed.
“I deeply regret and accept accountability for my actions. I want to again apologize to the Atlanta Braves organization, Major League Baseball, its fans, and especially my family and friends. I am grateful for this decision and will strive each day to honor this opportunity,” Coppolella said in a statement after his reinstatement by MLB.
Will any team hire former Braves GM John Coppolella?
While it’s great for Coppolella that he was reinstated by MLB, it seems unlikely that he’ll get hired right away. The Athletic makes this very clear in their write-up of the incident:
"“Despite the decision, it isn’t clear whether the reinstatement will serve as a springboard for Coppolella to return to baseball. As Pete Rose could attest, the majority of those who land on the permanently ineligible list never work in MLB again.”"
Coppolella is not Pete Rose, and would merely settle for working with an MLB team again. However, it could take some time. Coppolella currently works for a timeshare company, and is out of the game altogether.