It’s a tough time to be an Atlanta Braves fan. The team is under investigation by Major League Baseball for extensive international signing improprieties, the penalties of which are rumored to be “severe,” and executives are dropping like flies.
As of Friday, there’s one more departed Braves executive to add to the list. John Hart, the team’s (now former) president of baseball operations, has left his position at the Braves to “pursue other opportunities.”
John Hart Leaves the Braves to Pursue Other Opportunities: pic.twitter.com/FDEUFaFEio
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) November 17, 2017
This isn’t totally surprising. It hasn’t really been clear what Hart’s new job would be since new vice president and general manager Alex Anthopoulos was introduced Monday. Anthopoulos would be taking full control of the baseball operations department, which had been Hart’s job. And the Braves were emphatic about Hart no longer being in the baseball ops department, which they put in a news release on Monday.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Spots reported on Thursday that Hart would be a “consultant” with the Braves, but it was unknown what his responsibilities would be. Hart didn’t seem to know much either, and was apparently under the impression that he was still in the baseball ops department despite the Braves saying he was very much not.
Either way, Hart told Heyman that he was “all good.” And then a day later, Hart resigned completely.
It’s not clear if Hart’s demotion from president of baseball ops to consultant, or his subsequent resignation, is related to MLB’s ongoing investigation into the Braves. But this definitely won’t be the last we hear of it. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported on Thursday that while commissioner Rob Manfred is still deciding what the Braves’ full punishment should be, it will definitely include the loss of prospects, and could also include large fines and heavy restrictions on international market activity.
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