Atlanta Braves, MLB Free Agency

Jeff Passan exposes lie that Braves can’t afford Freddie Freeman

Liberty Media made a ton of money off the Atlanta Braves last season. So, they should have plenty to spend on Freddie Freeman, right?

A lie suggesting it’s not profitable to own an MLB team has been perpetuated by owners throughout the lockout. While some seasons — such as the pandemic-shortened 2020 league year — are anomalies, the majority of full campaigns produce plenty of income for major-league teams and the billionaires who own them.

Liberty Media is no exception.

The Braves won the World Series in 2021, so it’s no surprise to see their profit margins so high. As Jeff Passan points out, the Braves made a $104 million profit last year.

This should not come as a shock, as rich men and women do not simply invest in non-valuable assets. That would be a poor business decision, and these folks aren’t merely baseball owners for the love of the sport.

Braves have no excuse but to sign Freddie Freeman

With the numbers now readily available to the public, the jig is up — the Braves must bring back Freddie Freeman or risk angering a significant portion of their fanbase.

The last reported offer to Freeman was five years and $135 million. Braves insider David O’Brien thinks that if Atlanta had made that offer before last season, Freeman would’ve jumped at it. But the Braves made Freeman play the entire year on an expiring contract — and he delivered a World Series ring. It’s time to pay up.

Freeman wants that sixth year, as has been widely reported. In the last few days, various reports have emerged that there’s a strong likelihood he leaves Atlanta after the lockout, if only out of frustration. That’s not good enough for a team raking in cash after a World Series season.

The universal DH — should it be agreed to — will hopefully help ease some of the tensions between Freeman and the Braves over an added year on his contract. Worst case, Freeman would still be valuable as an aging bat.

But he should retire an Atlanta Brave.

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