The Major League Baseball Players Association has launched an investigation into potential coordination between teams about free agents, MLBPA executive director Tony Clark announced on Wednesday.
The MLBPA statement came in response to comments made earlier this week by Atlanta Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos, which Clark said "call into question the integrity of the entire free-agent system" and that "the clear description of Club coordination is egregious."
"Club coordination" is a reference to possible collusion between teams, which would be a violation of the collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players association.
"Every day you get more information," Anthopoulos said on a conference call with reporters. "And we've had time to connect with 27 of the clubs—obviously the Astros and (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."
Under the CBA, teams are prohibited from sharing information about free agents. Article XX-Section B of the 2017-21 CBA reads:
E. Individual Nature of Rights
(1) The utilization or non-utilization of rights under Article XIX(A)(2) and Article XX is an individual matter to be determined solely by each Player and each Club for his or its own benefit. Players shall not act in concert with other Players and Clubs shall not act in concert with other Clubs.
Anthopoulos released a statement Wednesday night in response to the MLBPA's investigation, saying there was no "discussion of individual free agents" and that he apologizes for any confusion.
MLB's free agency period began on Monday, Nov. 4 at 5 p.m. ET.