Freddie Freeman is a Los Angeles Dodger, and the rest of the world — especially anybody associated with the Atlanta Braves — needs to get used to it. He signed a six-year contract with LA this offseason after very obviously being disrespected by the team that drafted him.
To make matters worse, Freeman delivered a World Series title to the franchise in 2021 and won an MVP award in 2020 … all the while maintaining his status as the game’s best first baseman over the last few years.
But the Braves reportedly refused to offer Freeman anything above $140 million, which resulted in unnecessary, drawn out negotiations that culminated with the Braves trading for Oakland Athletics first baseman Matt Olson and not telling Freeman about it.
That move marked the end of Freeman’s tenure with Atlanta, and the departure hasn’t been the prettiest. After landing that six-year, $162 million contract with the Dodgers, he’s been criticized by Braves legend Chipper Jones for the way the situation was handled.
Next up? Braves owner Terry McGuirk … the guy who signs off on all the paychecks. And (ostensibly) the man who wouldn’t increase the standing offer for Freeman.
Here’s what McGuirk told Tim Tucker of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
"“I love Freddie like a son. I know him very, very well. It was difficult. I think if we could all turn back the clock and Freddie could maybe take more charge of what happened and not put it in the hands of his representatives.”"
His representative’s job is to get him the best contract possible? And the Dodgers offered that sixth year that he reportedly desired along with $22 more million than the Braves’ largest offer. So how is that Freeman’s fault for letting his representatives handle the situation? Atlanta was long viewed as the favorite to retain the slugging first baseman as long as they made the right offer.
They never did. And that’s hardly Freeman’s fault. The Braves just won it all and profited over $100 million last year alone. Freeman, who’s only earned $120 million throughout his career to date, has been a colossal bargain for the Braves since his first full season in 2011.
Freeman’s previous contract with the team was an eight-year, $135 million pact, which was the largest in Braves history until the $168 million they gave Olson. But the front office refused to exceed that same number they offered back in 2014.
All this shows is that the Braves are upset they didn’t get their way in the negotiations, for which they had no leverage. With record profits on their side, their first championship since 1995, and an opportunity to do right by one of the best players in franchise history, the bold decision to point the finger at Freeman and his agents for wanting one more year and ~$20 more million shows how wrong the Braves continue to be about this.