There’s “growing belief” that free agent 1B Freddie Freeman will not re-sign with the Atlanta Braves, per ESPN’s Buster Olney. The MLB Lockout is ongoing but could end as soon as February 28th, the deadline for players and teams to get a deal done without sacrificing any regular-season games. Freeman entered free agency briefly and didn’t reach an agreement with the Braves before the lockout. Atlanta reportedly offered a five-year deal worth $135 million, but it was shot down, per Olney.
The Braves just won the World Series this past season without All-Star OF Ronald Acuna Jr. Back in 2020, Freeman won NL MVP in the shortened season due to COVID-19. There have been mostly rumors surrounding Freeman’s next deal. The New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers have been linked to Freeman, which isn’t really that surprising. Freeman is coming off another great season and postseason, but he is 32 years old and is seeking a sixth year on a deal, something teams with higher payroll can likely provide.
Not to say the Braves could afford to let Freeman walk but it may not be as detrimental to the teams future success as people think. Freeman is bound to regress with age, though the implementation of a universal DH would help there. The Braves would still have Acuna, Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley, Dansby Swanson and a potential young star in Christian Pache.