Braves: There’s a good chance the Freddie Freeman sweepstakes get out of hand

Fredde Freeman is one of the many Braves impending free agents

If you’re a baseball fan, these last two days have been heaven. The amount of money we’ve seen thrown around so far in free agency has been mind-boggling, and it’s terrific for the game. The AL West damn near signed an entire roster of All-Stars, with the Rangers acquiring Corey Seager AND Marcus Semien, creating the best middle-infield in the league.

The Braves haven’t made any major splashes… yet, but they did receive some crazy news of their own today. Major League Baseball announced their suspension for Marcell Ozuna, which was only a 20-game retroactive suspension, meaning Ozuna is cleared to play immediately. Now, I’m not sure he’ll ever wear a Braves uniform again, but he might, and this news should make it easier for the team to trade him if that’s the direction they choose to go in.¬†However, for the Braves, all eyes are still on Freddie Freeman, and what has happened so far this offseason should worry Atlanta fans.

First and foremost, the most recent reports suggest there has been little progress, if any, in negotiations between Freeman and the Braves. That alone is worrisome, especially considering the competition Atlanta could be dealing with.

The Yankees, Red Sox, and Dodgers — three teams that have much deeper pockets than the Braves — all have potential openings at first base, and none of them have participated in the early bidding of free agency. There’s no way any of them stay quiet all offseason, and Freeman is quickly becoming the top target available.

The Dodgers and Yankees both could add a shortstop, but it’s possible both of them miss out on Carlos Correa. If that happens, the natural thing for them to do would be to pivot to Freeman. Los Angeles is the scariest of the bunch; they just lost out on Seager and Max Scherzer, so you know they are hungry to make a splash. The injury Max Muncy suffered late last season is also perceived to be worse than initially expected. With the DH likely coming to the National League, Freeman makes too much sense for them, especially considering they can steal one of the best players from their biggest threat.

With the Yankees and Red Sox also potentially in the mix, this reeks of abysmal news for the Braves. How often have Boston, New York, and Los Angeles been outbid by Atlanta for a superstar player? I don’t believe that has ever happened. When you combine that with this boiling hot free agent market, if the Braves want to keep Freeman, they will have to write a check that will make them uncomfortable. I don’t think it is out of the realm of possibility, given that the team is coming off a World Series, but I also no longer think the Braves should be looked at as overwhelming favorites to re-sign Freeman.



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