The Los Angeles Dodgers are among the Atlanta Braves’ biggest threats in their pursuit of free agent first baseman Freddie Freeman.
Freeman is a California kid, so if he fails to re-sign with the Braves for whatever reason, the Dodgers could be a solid backup plan. The 32-year-old wants a six-year deal worth about $30 million per season. Considering his age, the Braves have some reservations about that sixth year.
Yet, is one year and $30 million worth losing a franchise icon? The Braves just won their first World Series in over a decade. If anyone has earned that money, it’s Freeman, especially considering the Braves made him sweat out these contract negotiations through a damn lockout.
Dodgers rumors: Is Freddie Freeman a real possibility?
Dodgers insider David Vassegh suggested the Dodgers are Freeman’s backup choice at the moment: “They [the Dodgers] do need Freddie Freeman. My understanding is Freddie Freeman definitely would play here in LA if it’s not going to be in Atlanta.”
The Athletic’s Jim Bowden also connected Freeman to the Dodgers in his column. Basically, where there’s smoke, there’s probably fire.
“The Yankees and Dodgers are believed to be among the teams that have checked in with Freeman and his representatives to express interest. If he doesn’t re-sign with Atlanta, look for Los Angeles to make a strong bid for his services.”
Thus far, the lockout has been a disservice to the Braves, who likely could’ve had this whole situation sorted out by now. Yet, they’re currently not allowed to speak with Freeman or his representatives, prolonging the process and allowing rumors to swirl.
While the Braves’ stubbornness put them in this situation, any conflict that’s emerged since early December really isn’t their fault. Atlanta is merely waiting, just like the rest of baseball.
Of course, Freeman signing elsewhere remains a possibility. There’s a reason the Braves are favored, but there’s also a reason Freeman hasn’t put the talk of him signing elsewhere to bed.