Yesterday evening, multiple reports linked the Braves to A’s star first baseman Matt Olson.
Braves have checked in on A’s star 1B Matt Olson, presumably as a contingency plan in case Freddie Freeman leaves via free agency. Most still have a hard time envisioning Freeman in any other uniform but Braves want to be prepared.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 1, 2021
He’s quite the contingency plan if the Braves are unable to re-sign Freddie Freeman. Olson smacked 39 homers and recorded 5.8 WAR for Oakland last season, and with the short porch in right field at Truist Park, he would be liable to hit 50 bombs in a Braves uniform. Still, Freeman has to be priority number one. Olson is only under contract for two more seasons, and Freeman is the face of the franchise. Plus, the Braves don’t have to give up a bevy of prospects to keep Freeman.
The Braves decided to non-tender Richard Rodriguez last night, who was projected to earn $3 million in arbitration. This isn’t all that surprising. I thought the Braves might hold onto him for one more season because they traded some quality prospects for his services at the trade deadline, but with so many other needs to fill this offseason, saving that $3 million was the right move. Rodriguez hasn’t been the same pitcher since the spider tack ban, which is why I was wary of the trade when it occurred. Perhaps he bounces back in 2022, but that’s not a risk the Braves need to take with money being tight.
A lot of people thought the Braves might non-tender Adam Duvall, but I always thought that was a long shot. The Braves let him go last offseason over pennies, and I couldn’t imagine them making the same mistake twice. A one-year contract worth $9.1 million for the RBI leader in the National League is right up Anthopoulos’ ally. I expect the Braves to attempt to settle a little bit below that number before arbitration, but either way, it’s great to know Duvall will be back in Atlanta in 2022.