Freddie Freeman is one of the most beloved players in Atlanta Braves history. After all, he did bring the franchise a World Series title last season and has been extremely consistent offensively for several years. However, prior to the lockout, the first baseman and Atlanta failed to agree on a contract extension, with Buster Olney of ESPN reporting the Braves offered him a five-year, $135 million deal, but Freeman wants a six-year extension.
Now, there is a firm belief across the big leagues that Freeman will sign elsewhere once baseball resumes:
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.
Freeman is the type of player who could fit in any lineup. He hits for power and average and brings tons of leadership to any clubhouse. But given the type of money and stability he’s looking for, it probably narrows down his options. The Braves have already been linked with Oakland A’ slugger Matt Olson as a possible replacement for Freeman as well.
With the DH rule coming into the National League in 2022, this also gives Freeman the chance to split time between first base and strictly worrying about his bat. Braves fans would love to have Freddie back, but at this point, it seems unlikely. It’s going to be very interesting to see where he ends up.