As the MLB lockout continues on, most of the baseball world has lost its attention on Freddie Freeman’s looming free-agency decision. ESPN’s Buster Olney hasn’t. In fact, he just provided a bombshell update saying Freeman is projected to leave the Braves and sign with a new ball club ahead of the 2022 season.
The Braves no doubt would like to retain Freeman, but the competition to land the star first baseman has grown. So much so, it’s plausible the Braves lose the sweepstakes all together.
Olney has the latest on the developing situation:
“The presumption among a lot of rival executives last year was that Freeman and the Braves would eventually work out a deal,” Olney writes, via ESPN.com. “But Freeman was not among the stars who signed a pre-lockout contract — even after the Braves won the World Series and the franchise operated with the championship glow (and cash injection).
“So the industry view has shifted; there is a growing belief that Freeman will land somewhere outside of Atlanta because of the standoff in his negotiations. The Braves offered $135 million over five years, sources say, and Freeman is looking for a six-year deal.”
A hurricane of activity: 8 things that will happen once the MLB lockout ends https://t.co/iVD3LuncDA
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) February 22, 2022
This would be a devastating blow to the world champs and a welcome development for the rest of the NL East.
Freeman batted .300 with 180 hits, 83 RBIs and 31 home runs last season. He was an integral factor of Atlanta’s run to the World Series.
Unfortunately, it sounds like Freeman’s days in Atlanta are behind him. Olney expects him to sign elsewhere ahead of the 2022 season.