Freddie Freeman might've been busy launching golf balls into orbit at Chris Taylor's recent charity event, but the Los Angeles Dodgers star didn't shy away from questions being asked by the members of the media that were present.
One of the obvious, difficult topics concerned Trevor Bauer, who was designated for assignment by the Dodgers this month and then officially released a week after when the team couldn't find a trade partner.
It's unclear if Bauer will sign the league minimum with another club for the 2023 season, but the Dodgers are on the hook for his $22.5 million salary. Apparently, the team took their decision to DFA him down to the last possible moment because they were weighing the competitive disadvantage of Bauer pitching elsewhere on the Dodgers' dime.
But how much would that have really mattered? The Dodgers won 111 games in 2022 without Bauer and 106 the year prior when he made only 17 starts. The right-hander, if he returns to MLB, will have not pitched in an official game in 22 months.
If you were among those not concerned at all about Bauer's departure, then you'll enjoy Freeman's comments on the matter.
Freddie Freeman isn't concerned about the Dodgers releasing Trevor Bauer
"I do know that was an ownership call. I was talking to Andrew Friedman, and that was a Dodgers call. It played out how I think everyone thought it was going to play out. I wasn’t around in ’21 when he was here, so I think that’s more of a question for those guys and how they liked him, or didn’t like him, or what. With him not being around last year, nothing was really going on. No one was really talking about it."- Freddie Freeman, via Dodger Blue
Hmm ... so if nobody was really talking about it, then who leaked the "report" claiming multiple players inside the clubhouse wanted Bauer back? Freeman is undoubtedly one of the leaders on this team, and if this was his response, regardless if he played with Bauer or not, it's couldn't be more obvious that Bauer's return had no impact on the team's culture.
The Dodgers moved on swiftly and efficiently, reaching the NLCS in 2021 and winning the NL West handily in 2022. Bauer could've perhaps helped them in the playoffs, but his presence had little to do with the Dodgers success, and his absence didn't even matter.