Atlanta Braves, MLB Free Agency

Freddie Freeman rumors: Where things stand to end January

The latest Freddie Freeman rumors at the end of January suggest a conclusion could be swift once the MLB lockout ends.

Despite the ongoing MLB lockout, Freddie Freeman rumors continue to leak. The latest from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic suggests there could be an end in sight.

The relationship between Freeman and the Atlanta Braves has been on hold for months now. It was a bit of a surprise that the two couldn’t come to terms with a new deal. The team won it all in 2021 and Freeman was, yet again, a big part of the club’s success. He’s this generation’s Chipper Jones. Imagining him in any other uniform is impossible.

Since debut in 2010, Freeman hasn’t known any other team. This could all change if either he decides to leave or the Braves go in a different direction.

Freddie Freeman rumors: It’s a standoff with the Braves

There are only a small number of teams we could expect to get in the market and pay Freeman the kind of money he’ll get in free agency. Returning to the Braves is one option. But what about the Los Angeles Dodgers or New York Yankees? They, too, have a need at first base and some deep pockets to make it happen.

We also can’t discount teams getting creative or suddenly deciding they’ll be spenders this winter. Free agents like Freeman don’t come around often. He could end up as the finishing touch some teams need.

The expected addition of the DH to the National League also opens up some opportunities. Teams could think about moving their current first baseman to this spot and pursue Freeman to give themselves an even better lineup and maybe an upgrade defensively.

The Braves have already been rumored to have an interest in pulling off a trade with the Oakland Athletics to bring in Matt Olson to replace Freeman. If this is the first domino to fall, it may not be long after when Freeman finds a new home of his own.

After Freeman, the most significant free agent first baseman on the market is Anthony Rizzo. Brandon Belt already accepted the qualifying offer from the San Francisco Giants and the rest of the crop is best-suited in a part-time or bench role.

Someone needs to blink first. If the deal the Braves can strike with Oakland is sweet enough, expect the final batch of Freddie Freeman rumors to include one less team.

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