Andruw Jones recently joined hosts David O’Brien and Eric Eric O’Flaherty on the 755 Is Real podcast to discuss a number of topics leading up to the season. Among them, of course, was the situation surrounding Freddie Freeman‘s free agency, as Jones was asked if he was surprised that Freeman has not followed in the footsteps of Chipper Jones and re-signed already. Here’s his answer, courtesy of The Athletic:
Not really, to be honest with you. Because what happened with Chipper, he kept renewing his contracts, but he was giving (them) that hometown discount. I mean, he was not getting that full money. If Chipper wanted to go somewhere else, he would have got a lot more money than he was making in Atlanta. So it’s all up to, what do you want to do? I mean, if you want to make your career in one place or if you want to move on. Some of us didn’t get offers. I didn’t get an offer. They offered (Tom) Glavine maybe … but I think they didn’t even offer (John Smoltz) what he wanted. They didn’t offer Smoltzy nothing, so I think Smoltzy was still salty about that a little bit. And I’m sure those guys didn’t want to leave. We had been here for so long, and been so successful in one place.
It’s hard to move on and go to a different place, but it happens. You could see it happen to Brian McCann. He ended up coming back (to the Braves at the end of his career), but he had to step away because they weren’t going to offer him that money (McCann got a deal with the New York Yankees when he left Atlanta). They didn’t offer him even close to what he wanted. It’s a business. Now I see it more as a front-office guy, but still being a baseball player. I see where they’re coming from, but it’s a business. I hope it works out that (Freeman) ends up coming back, but if he doesn’t, we have to move on and make things happen.
What’s interesting is Chipper was asked very similar questions a few weeks ago on the Dukes and Bell show, where he provided his insight into the situation. Chipper shared that Freeman has received some offers from the Braves that he wasn’t exactly thrilled with, and now Freeman has teams chasing him that are willing to spend top dollar. However, Chipper did end his answer with, “But Freddie, if he wants to play for the Atlanta Braves, will be playing for the Atlanta Braves.”
It’s become pretty evident that there will be other teams vying for Freeman’s services that will outbid the Braves. If Freeman wants to remain in Atlanta, he’ll likely have to take some version of a hometown discount, just like Chipper Jones did. How much of one is the question. As Freeman has reiterated 100 times during this process, he wants to remain a Brave for the remainder of his career, but sometimes the money is too great to ignore, which may be the case once the lockout ends.
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