Players and managers of professional leagues such as the NBA, NFL and MBL receive a lot of media training to help them be prepared when they face the press. However, both players and members of the management and staff tend to mess things up every now and then because they speak out of turn, get emotional or because their comments are misinterpreted.
Atlanta Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos (pictured) found this out first hand when his statements to the media received national attention. He told members of the press that his team has been in contact with the other 27 MLB teams to get an idea of what they plan to do during free agency and which players might be traded.
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MLBPA Launches Investigation
Those remarks stirred up a lot of controversy as MLB franchises should not be engaging in any free agency chatter before the trade window opens. As a result, the Major League Baseball Players’ Association (MLBPA) has confirmed that it will launch an investigation to check what is happening behind the scenes with regards to free agency in the league.
Statement of MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark pic.twitter.com/Xk5gsJQuGM
— MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) November 6, 2019
The statement made by Anthopoulos makes it appear that MLB franchise have already begun discussions behind closed doors as to which players are going to become free agents next season, how much money do clubs want to trade these players and whether they are willing to strike up an agreement before the free trade window opens.
The MLB strictly forbids these discussions from taking place based on its collective bargaining agreement (CBA) which MBL franchise and players have committed to. The MBL clause is very similar to the NBA which also prevents free agency discussions from happening before the trade window opens.
The NBA has also had to deal with similar allegations as NBA franchises were very quick in signing and closing players as soon as the free agency window opened. This made it appear that NBA franchises had already worked out their deals with other clubs and free agency players and used the trade window as a mere formality to close the deal.
It is quite possible that a similar strategy is being used in the MLB. The investigation will look to clear things up.
Braves GM Clarifies Statement
Anthopoulos decided to release another statement in light of the MLBPA investigation and clarify his comments. He said that while he did have discussions with the 27 MLB franchises, there were no discussions about individual free agent trades or what the Braves will do during the free agency market.