With the Atlanta Braves coming off their first World Series championship since 1995 and franchise cornerstone Freddie Freeman playing a major part, the expectation was the two would quickly work out a new contract in free agency.
However, they failed to come to terms before the MLB lockout began in December. That was followed by reports of some friction existing between Freeman and the Braves front office over the inclusion of a sixth year on a potential deal.
It fueled speculation the Southern California native would sign with a new team, which now appears to be a formality as the Braves completed a blockbuster trade with the Oakland Athletics to acquire hometown product Matt Olson.
According to Mark Bowman of MLB.com, the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays remain involved for Freeman:
Freddie Freeman’s era with the Braves is likely over. The Yankees and Dodgers have seemingly been the favorites over the past few days. But the Rays and Blue Jays have remained aggressive. There was never a sense the Braves made a strong push.
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) March 14, 2022
The Dodgers and Yankees have long been connected to the 32-year-old, and the Rays reportedly made a contract offer prior to the lockout. It’s believed the Dodgers and Yankees also submitted offers to Freeman since free agency resumed last week with a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) in place.
L.A. doesn’t face a pressing need at first base, but signing Freeman would help fill the void created with Corey Seager joining the Texas Rangers on a 10-year, $325 million contract.
“I would love to see Freddie Freeman in a Dodger uniform. Who wouldn’t? He’s a heck of a ballplayer,” manager Dave Roberts answered when asked about the Dodgers’ potential interest in Freeman.
“He’s put himself in a situation to be a free agent, so he’s earned that right and the opportunity to be courted by other teams and to see what’s best for him and his family. Certainly in the conversation for us, but ultimately it’s going to be his decision.”
Muncy willing to change positions for Freeman
As speculation of Freeman possibly signing with the Dodgers has persisted, Alex Wood noted on Twitter he hoped the All-Star first baseman would not end up in the National League West. That drew a response from Justin Turner, who naturally disagreed.
The Dodgers signing Freeman would most directly impact Max Muncy, who said he would happily make a position change to second base, where he prefers to play.
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