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Braves lose 13 players, ex-GM banned

(Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

(TSX / STATS) -- Major League Baseball came down hard on the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday for multiple violations of the international amateur signing rules, making 13 players who had previously signed with the organization free agents.

MLB will also dock the Braves a third-round pick in the 2018 amateur draft after the team offered extra benefits to 41st overall pick Drew Waters last year. Waters, however, will be able to remain with Atlanta.

"My office has completed a thorough investigation into violations of Major League Rules by the Atlanta Braves," MLB Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. said in a statement Tuesday. "The Braves cooperated throughout the investigation, which was conducted by MLB's Department of Investigations. The senior Baseball Operations officials responsible for the misconduct are no longer employed by the Braves."

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Morgan asks Hall voters to ban PED users

(TSX / STATS) -- Hall of Fame vice chairman Joe Morgan emailed every eligible voter from the Baseball Writers' Association of America on Tuesday, writing that "steroid users don't belong" in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Morgan's email, which he said he wrote on behalf of "many of the Hall of Famers," comes one day after the 2018 ballot was released.

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Yanks' Judge undergoes shoulder surgery

(TSX / STATS) -- Reigning American League Rookie of the Year Aaron Judge is on the shelf.

The New York Yankees slugger underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder Monday, but is expected to complete his recovery before the start of spring training.

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Jones, Thome head Hall of Fame ballot

(TSX / STATS) -- Third baseman Chipper Jones and designated hitter Jim Thome are among the 19 newcomers on the 2018 Hall of Fame ballot, the Baseball Writers' Association of America announced Monday.

The ballot is being mailed this week to more than 425 voting members of the BBWAA. The results of the voting will be announced on Jan. 24.

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MLBPA extends deadline for posting deal

(TSX / STATS) -- The Major League Baseball Players' Association announced Monday that it agreed to a 24-hour extension for a new posting agreement to be reached between MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball.

The agreement extends the deadline until Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST.

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Altuve runs away with AL MVP award

(TSX / STATS) -- Two weeks after helping the Houston Astros to their first World Series title, second baseman Jose Altuve was named American League MVP, the Baseball Writers Association of America announced Thursday.

The 5-foot-6 Altuve claimed 27 of 30 first-place votes for 405 points to beat AL Rookie of the Year Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees. He matched Yankees shortstop Phil Rizzuto (1950) and Philadelphia Athletics pitcher Bobby Shantz (1952) as the shortest players to win the award.

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Stanton edges Votto for NL MVP

(TSX / STATS) -- Giancarlo Stanton edged out Joey Votto in the fourth-closest balloting of all-time to become the first Miami Marlins' player to be named National League MVP, the Baseball Writers' Association of American announced on Thursday.

Stanton received 302 votes, two more than Cincinnati Reds star Joey Votto. Both players received 10 first-place votes.

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Arrieta among 9 to reject $17.4M offer

(TSX / STATS) -- Nine free agents received qualifying offers and each player rejected them, the Player's Association announced Thursday.

Chicago Cubs pitchers Jake Arrieta and Wade Davis, the Kansas City trio of first baseman Eric Hosmer, third baseman Mike Moustakas and center fielder Lorenzo Cain, pitchers Lance Lynn (St. Louis), Alex Cobb (Tampa Bay) and Greg Holland (Colorado) and Cleveland first baseman Carlos Santana received the one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer on Nov. 6.

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Scherzer repeats as NL Cy Young winner

(TSX / STATS) -- Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer earned his third Cy Young Award by beating out teammate Stephen Strasburg and Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw in the voting announced on Wednesday.

Scherzer, who won the American League Cy Young Award in 2013 with the Detroit Tigers, picked up his second National League honor in a row. The 33-year-old went 16-6 with a 2.51 ERA and led the NL with 268 strikeouts in 200 2/3 innings.

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