Atlanta Braves' general manager draws ire of MLB union over calls to other teams

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Atlanta Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos drew the ire of the Major League Baseball Players Association on Wednesday due to some of his comments about free agency.

Anthopoulos told reporters in a conference call Monday he had called other clubs around the league about trades and what other clubs were going to do in free agency.

“Every day you get more information,” he said, according to USA Today. “And we’ve had time to connect with 27 of the clubs – obviously the Astros and [Nationals] being in the World Series, they were tied up – 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.”

The MLBPA responded swiftly over Anthopoulos’s comments and launched an investigation. The union appeared to be concerned over the possibility of collusion between clubs after it was reported that the league gives out an arbitration award for keeping salaries down.

“The statements made by Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos call into question the integrity of the entire free-agent system,” MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said in a statement. “The clear description of Club coordination is egregious, and we have launched an immediate investigation looking into the matter.”

The union appears to be hoping to avoid a repeat of last year’s offseason when the two biggest free agents – Bryce Harper and Manny Machado – didn’t sign deals until close to spring training.

Anthopoulous said in a statement that he had misspoken when talking about calling other clubs.

“In advance of the General Managers meetings, I called around to Clubs to explore the possibility of potential off-season trades. At no time during any of these calls was there discussion of individual free agents or the Braves’ intentions with respect to the free-agent market. To the extent I indicated otherwise during my media availability on Monday, I misspoke and apologize for any confusion.”

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The Braves are a team loaded with young talent. The team won the National League East division in 2019 with a 97-65 record.

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