This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. I wrote a week before the start of the season that Freddie Freeman has yet to be approached about a contract extension. Here’s what the 2020 NL MVP told Mark Bowman back then.
I just saw Lance McCullers got his extension and I’ve been seeing the reports about Juan Soto, Trea Turner and other guys in the NL East. I’m happy for them. They deserve it. They are such amazing ballplayers. But in my case, we haven’t been approached yet, my agents or I. We’ve got a week left before the season. My main focus is getting ready for the season next and being ready for April 1 in Philadelphia and getting to the World Series. That’s my main focus. But in terms of extension talks, we haven’t been approached yet.
A week later, Freeman was asked a similar question by David O’Brien of The Athletic, and he reiterated that nothing had changed and that he was focused on Opening Day.
When I asked #Braves' Freddie Freeman in zoom about whether there's anything going on with a possible contract extension, he said no, and that it's Opening Day and he's focused on playing the season. Didn't have his usual upbeat tone when answering that particular question.
— David O'Brien (@DOBrienATL) April 1, 2021
So this latest news isn’t really much of news at all. When asked about the extension before yesterday’s game against the Yankees, here’s what Freeman had to say.
Full remarks from Freddie Freeman on negotiations with Braves for a new contract: pic.twitter.com/mLM8kEpSGI
— Jeff Schultz (@JeffSchultzATL) April 20, 2021
It’s obvious Freeman doesn’t want his contract extension to be a distraction. It’s a bit disappointing that something hasn’t already happened, and it will be frightful if he hits the open market come season’s end. However, Freeman has stated repeatedly that he wants to be in Atlanta for his entire career, following the model of his good friend Chipper Jones.
Whenever those negotiations begin, I expect them to go smoothly. Hopefully, it happens before the season ends, but for now, his primary focus is on winning the next game, and that’s what the team needs. After yesterday’s loss, the Braves are now 7-10, which is already five games behind the Mets in the loss column.