The Major League Baseball Players Association is investigating Atlanta Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos for his comments suggesting potential collusion between MLB clubs, executive director Tony Clark announced in a release Wednesday.
"The statements made by Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos call into question the integrity of the entire free-agent system," Clark said in the release. "The clear description of club coordination is egregious, and we have launched an immediate investigation looking into the matter."
Anthopoulos made the remarks on a conference call with reporters Monday, according to David O'Brien of The Athletic.
"Every day you get more information," Anthopoulos said, according to O'Brien. "And we've had time to connect with 27 of the clubs - obviously the (Houston) Astros and (Washington 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."
Anthopoulos addressed the comments Wednesday.
"In advance of the general managers' meetings, I called around to clubs to explore the possibility of potential offseason trades," he said, according to a team release. "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."
There was chatter about collusion last offseason due to another slow-developing market for free agents. Superstars Bryce Harper and Manny Machado didn't sign until after spring training started, and former All-Star pitchers Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel didn't find new teams until after the draft in June.