Atlanta Braves Hopes Dashed: There Will Be International Penalties

As of this morning, it appeared that the new agreement between players and owners might be creating a brand new procedure for the international Market… one that might allow the Braves to participate.

Apparently not.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports delivered the bad news coming to the Atlanta Braves late this afternoon:

Darn it.

The hope from this morning was that the dozen-or-so teams currently under penalties might be able to participate – if for no other reason than the fact that the Player’s Union would want a chance to get more money flowing for the annual signing period for teen Latin prospects.

Instead, not only are those prior penalties now still in place, but there’s insight into future penalties for bad behavior… which seems to have real teeth to them this time around:

Ouch.

The other reason for hope that everyone would start with a clean slate (other than the wording of the snippets released this morning) was that while the Union was stridently opposed to an International Draft system, it frankly doesn’t sound like their side got much in return for the owners’ side imposing this ‘hard’ annual spending cap Internationally.

This new cap system will benefit smaller market teams a bit, but as outlined this morning, it will also have the net effect of putting in the kinds of cost controls that ownership wanted with a draft system.

Therefore, it certainly appears at this stage that there was a big “give” on the part of the Player’s Association without getting much in return – unless you count the clubhouse chefs and Spring Training Bus seating arrangements.

True – the biggest change for the players involved free agent compensation.  Qualifying Offers will not be as burdensome to free agents who decline them as it had been.  But that’s not nearly on par with this International spending cap system.

After all, by the Union’s own admission:  international spending impacts roughly 27% of the players.  Qualifying Offers?  A lot less.

Nevertheless, the Atlanta Braves will indeed be sidelined with limited International impacts for 2017 and 2018.  But for sure:  they scored big when it counted here in the 2016 signing season.

This article originally appeared on

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