ATLANTA -- Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred hit the Atlanta Braves with heavy sanctions, including the loss of 13 players, on Tuesday for rules violations committed by the team in the international player market.
Manfred also placed former Braves general manager John Coppolella on the permanently ineligible list. Former Braves Special Assistant Gordon Blakeley, who was the team's international scouting chief, is suspended from performing services for any team for one year.
Manfred said an investigation conducted by Major League Baseball determined the Braves circumvented international signing rules from 2015 through 2017 by moving bonus pool money from one player to boost another player's contract.
Most notable among the players the Braves will lose is Kevin Maitan, an infielder from Venezuela who signed for $4.25 million in 2016 (see full story).
Yankees: Judge has left shoulder surgery
NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees say slugger Aaron Judge had arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder and is expected to be ready for spring training.
The operation was performed Monday by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles. The Yankees say the procedure involved a loose-body removal and cartilage cleanup.
The 25-year-old Judge hit .284 with 52 homers and 114 RBIs in 155 games this season, helping New York make it to the AL Championship Series, where they lost to the eventual World Series champion Astros. He was a unanimous selection for AL Rookie of the Year and finished second to Houston infielder Jose Altuve in the AL MVP race.
MLB: Morgan urges voters to keep steroid users out of HOF
Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan is urging voters to keep "known steroid users" out of Cooperstown.
A day after the Hall revealed its 33-man ballot for the 2018 class, the 74-year-old Morgan argued against the inclusion of players implicated during baseball's steroid era in a letter to voters with the Baseball Writers' Association of America. The letter from the vice chairman of the Hall's board of directors was sent Tuesday using a Hall email address.
"Steroid users don't belong here," Morgan wrote. "What they did shouldn't be accepted. Times shouldn't change for the worse."
Hall voters have been wrestling with the issue of performance-enhancing drugs for several years. Baseball held a survey drug test in 2003 and the sport began testing for banned steroids the following year with penalties. Accusations connected to some of the candidates for the Hall vary in strength from allegations with no evidence to positive tests that caused suspensions (see full story).
Cubs: Venable leaves front office to be base coach
CHICAGO -- Will Venable is leaving the Chicago Cubs front office to be their first base coach.
The former major league outfielder was hired last summer as a special assistant to president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer.
The 35-year-old Venable replaces Brandon Hyde, who has been promoted to bench coach for manager Joe Maddon.
The Cubs also announced Tuesday that they had hired Jim Benedict as a special assistant to baseball operations. Benedict spent the previous two seasons as the vice president for pitching development for the Miami Marlins.