Braves GM introduced, John Hart is "stepping down" into new role

The Braves are in the midst of an MLB investigation.

ATLANTA -- Alex Anthopoulos was introduced as the Atlanta Braves Executive VP and General Manager at SunTrust Park on Monday.

Braves President and CEO Terry McGuirk introduced the young baseball executive at a press conference and said that Anthopoulous will report directly to him.

John Hart, the president of baseball operations, will transition into a new role as a special adviser, McGuirk said.

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Hart moves into a new role as the findings of an MLB investigation into the Braves have yet to be revealed. Former General Manager John Coppolella and international scouting supervisor Gordon Blakeley were forced to resign for a violation of rules regarding the international player market, among others that are being investigated.

McGuirk said Hart is "stepping down" into the new role immediately, and he will join Hall of Famers Bobby Cox and John Schuerholz in the adviser role.

"All three will be a resource to anyone who wants to use those gentleman," McGuirk said, adding they have about 150 years of experience between the three.

There is no public proof that John Hart is connected to the violations committed by Coppolella and Blakeley, but the transition helps the Braves cover their bases if the investigation finds wrong-doing by Hart. It should let Anthopoulos continue to settle in without much disruption with the exception of possible penalties.

McGuirk said he recently spoke with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred about the investigation.

"He told me that the investigation has been completed for some time and he will be back to us," McGuirk said. He estimated it may be another two weeks before the investigation is released.

Anthopoulos didn't say whether or not Hart's stepping down contributed to his decision to join the Braves after spending the last two seasons as a executive with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the reigning NL Champions. He said he went into meetings with McGuirk and the Braves with an open mind and was "blown away."

Anthopoulos was the general manager of the Toronto Blue Jay from 2009-15. While he was there, the Blue Jays made it to the ALCS in 2015, and he was named the Sporting News Executive of the Year. He signed a 4-year deal with the Braves.

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