Dodgers Rumors: Freddie Freeman Contract Includes Deferred Money Until 2040

Just eight days after the MLB lockout ended, the Los Angeles Dodgers signed of 2020 National League MVP Freddie Freeman to a six-year, $162 million contract.

Freeman’s deal with the Dodgers amounted to an average annual value of $27 million and didn’t include any opt-outs or a no-trade clause.

The contract additionally runs through Freeman’s age-37 season and he won’t become a free agent again until 2028, making it a high possibility he spends the rest of his career in a Dodgers uniform.

However, as with many mega contracts, the Dodgers will be paying Freeman long after he is no longer with the club. Freeman’s six-year contract also includes $57 million in deferrals that last from 2028 to 2040, according to Greg Beacham of the Associated Press:

Freeman will make $27 million a year with Los Angeles, but $7 million is deferred in each of the first three seasons and $12 million in each of the last three for a total of $57 million. That money is payable in installments of $4 million each July 1 from 2028-35, and $5 million each July 1 from 2036-40.

With the deferrals, Freeman’s contract value essentially drops to $140 million over six years and decreases his hit on the Dodgers’ payroll to $23.3 million each season, along with $57 million over 13 more seasons.

The deal will end up paying Freeman until he is 50 years old in 2040.

The Dodgers also included deferred payments when they signed Mookie Betts to his 12-year, $365 million extension.

Betts received a record $65 signing bonus, but nearly a third of his total salary will come in the form of deferred payments, which pay him $115 million until his 52nd birthday in 2044.

Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has previously explained the benefit to spreading out payments over a long period of time allows the team to maintain flexibility.

Freddie Freeman signing led to Dodgers making MLB history with 4 former MVPs

By signing Freeman, the Dodgers had four former MVPs on their active roster this season. They are just the fifth team in MLB history to boast such talent at one time.

Freeman joined Cody Bellinger (2019 NL MVP), Mookie Betts (2018 American League MVP) and Clayton Kershaw (2014 NL MVP) as the Dodgers who have previously won the award.

The Dodgers also achieved the feat last season when they signed future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols once he was released by the L.A. Angels. No team has ever had five or more former MVPs on their roster.

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