Well, I hope you’re in for a report that will most likely make your Tuesday much more somber. In an article for ESPN written by Buster Olney, the MLB insider reports that things have shifted dramatically regarding Freddie Freeman. Around the league, it was once thought to be a foregone conclusion that he would re-sign with Atlanta. However, that’s no longer the case. It is now believed by most parties that Freeman will sign elsewhere once the lockout ends, and he will do so quickly.
The presumption among a lot of rival executives last year was that Freeman and the Braves would eventually work out a deal. But Freeman was not among the stars who signed a pre-lockout contract — even after the Braves won the World Series and the franchise operated with the championship glow (and cash injection). So the industry view has shifted; there is a growing belief that Freeman will land somewhere outside of Atlanta because of the standoff in his negotiations. The Braves offered $135 million over five years, sources say, and Freeman is looking for a six-year deal.
“I think [the Braves] will move quickly to settle on an alternative and move on to get past the conversation,” one official said.
It sounds like both sides are ready for this entire ordeal to be over with, and from several reports, it seems like that sixth year really is the difference in negations. That’s absolutely wild to me if true.
The Braves have plenty of money to spend. Alex Anthopoulos has already said that payroll will be substantially higher in 2022 than it was last season. They are coming off a lucrative World Series run, and Freddie Freeman was the heart and soul of that team. Without him, Atlanta likely wouldn’t have even made the playoffs, let alone win a title. Letting him go elsewhere right now feels so wrong, but I’m sure Alex Anthopoulos and company have their reasons. Either way, it’s going to take a lot of winning for the Braves to recover from this move if they do ultimately let Freeman sign elsewhere.