If Dodgers fans didn’t believe the team had a chance at Freddie Freeman before based off all the disquieting chatter emanating from Atlanta, then perhaps they’ll come to their senses now that Braves legends are popping off.
Count Chipper Jones among those worried that the Braves’ inactivity and endless patience in a Freeman chase they didn’t seem to believe was really starting has already cost them.
Now, two and a half months into a lockout imposed by MLB ownership, Atlanta’s camp hasn’t legally been able to contact their 2021 World Series champion leader since Dec. 1, at which point there was a clear fracture between Freeman’s expectations and their budget.
Yes, despite holding $100 million and $35 million trump card extensions with Ronald Acuña Jr. and Ozzie Albies already, the Braves have been reticent to extend Freeman’s offer from five years to six, based on the rumors and reports.
That’s led to the Yankees declaring through Jon Heyman that they’re prepared to make a “run” at the slugger, as well as rampant speculation that the Dodgers could look to woo the California boy. Those rumblings have Chipper wondering whether the Braves have already opened the door too wide, pessimistically deferring to the “prettiest girls on the block” in the chase.
Could Dodgers, Yankees steal Freddie Freeman? Braves legend Chipper Jones thinks so.
Add Chipper’s insight to Braves manager Brian Snitker’s comments insinuating he really has zero idea of Freeman’s intentions, and we just might have something here.
The Hall of Famer did drop Atlanta a bit of catnip in this interview, too, announcing that if Freeman “wants to play for the Atlanta Braves, he will be playing for the Atlanta Braves. [Jones’ll] leave it at that.”
Unfortunately for the World Champs, Jones spent most of the rest of the interview insinuating he might not want to do that, and was “frustrated” with the current offer and discourse.
Freeman would fit perfectly on a Dodgers roster that currently sports a less-crowded infield than you might think, and could provide 2021 Team MVP Max Muncy with some DH reps during his injury rehab and throughout the season, as long as Rob Manfred keeps the first promise of his lifetime and removes pitchers from NL lineups.
If you’re still not a believer that Freeman is up for grabs, ask yourself: When is the last time a Braves source of any kind was confident in his return?
Nothing is assured. Go get your man.