Freddie Freeman has been the Braves’ iron man as long as he has worn the tomahawk across his chest. With the exception of some missed time in 2015, Braves fans are used to their star staying on the field. However, it looks like Freddie Freeman is set for an extended DL stint, and the Braves have no in-house options to replace him after cutting bait with Ryan Howard last week.
The team could slide Adonis Garcia over to first base and call up Rio Ruiz, but Garcia was just put on the shelf as well with an injury as well. The Braves are in a really tight spot here, and they will likely be forced to make a move to address first base.
The team could have another reunion with fan favorite Kelly Johnson, who filled in for Freeman two years ago. Johnson would also offer a nice bench bat for the team after Freeman’s absence. Unfortunately, he has not signed with a team and he would likely need extended spring training, and one thing the Braves do not have is time.
An interesting trade candidate for the team could be Todd Frazier. The White Sox have been starting the process of a rebuild and would likely take mid-tier prospects from the Braves in exchange for his services. It should not take much, as Frazier is having a down year and is in the last year of his contract. This would likely be a deal similar to the one that got the Braves a year of Jaime Garcia. Frazier has seen extended time at first base with the Reds, and could platoon with Garcia at third base upon Freeman’s return, providing more production at that spot. This could move Adonis to a bench role in which he could serve as the team’s top pinch hitter and also play some innings in the outfield.
One thing is for sure: the Braves have to do something. Otherwise, the next couple months will not be pretty. Get well, Freddie.