Up until Tuesday, Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman and Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson shared the same agency — Excel Sports Management.
But after the weekend in Atlanta and the emotions that took centerstage, Freeman fired his agent and is now self-represented (not like it matters anyway, because he’s likely on his final MLB contract or won’t have to worry about an agent for another five years).
ESPN’s Buster Olney revealed that Freeman had let those close to him know that he was upset with how his free agent negotiations transpired, which resulted in the decision — the timing of which was “interesting,” to say the least.
So that got Dodgers fans thinking. With Trea Turner rumored to likely secure an AAV higher than Corey Seager’s $32.5 million when he becomes a free agent this offseason, what’ll be LA’s solution at shortstop?
It could be Gavin Lux, who’s come on in a big way this season, but perhaps the Dodgers might keep him at second base because of the promising defense he’s played there this season.
If they want to add a high-profile shortstop who will be a fixture for years to come without dropping $30+ million a year, might Swanson be a reasonable target? He’ll be a free agent, too. And might Freeman help out with recruiting?
Could Freddie Freeman help Dodgers recruit Dansby Swanson to Dodgers?
Swanson revealed that he has no plans to leave Excel in wake of Freeman’s decision, but the shortstop might find himself in a similar situation this offseason to the one Freeman encountered in November and March.
The Braves have paid their two franchise players in Ronald Acuña Jr. and Ozzie Albies a combined $135 million via contract extensions during their arbitration years. And they won’t be free agents anytime soon.
Will Atlanta justify paying Swanson, who will be entering his age-29 season in 2023, somewhere in the $150 million range (we can estimate that’ll be his market based on his performance at the moment, coupled with the robust demand for shortstops in recent years)?
If not, might Swanson learn the hard way like Freeman did if he’s prioritizing his worth over where he wants to be, which is the case with a lot of free agents in this day and age.
However, Swanson is a Georgia native. He might want to stay with Atlanta even if it means making less money. It might just depend on how much less.
Then again, saying, “If Swanson wants to stay with the Braves, he’ll stay with the Braves” is disingenuous. Really? He’d stay with the Braves if he was insultingly lowballed? That won’t affect the relationship whatsoever?
This is MLB free agency we’re talking about. You NEVER know what’s going to happen. Fans are shocked each and every year with players’ decisions. Freeman ended up leaving the Braves after 15 years because his agency apparently didn’t handle negotiations as he had hoped and the organization wasn’t willing to pay a fairly reasonable price for the best first baseman in the game. Both things can be true.
If the Braves aren’t willing to properly compensate Swanson, especially with top shortstop prospect Braden Shewmake waiting in the wings, Excel will be happy to negotiate with the Dodgers if Freeman can convince his former teammate it’s the right move.