As free agency remains paused due to the ongoing lockout, the free agent status of Freddie Freeman has been a dark cloud hanging over the Atlanta Braves all winter. Before the lockout, there was dialogue of teams being interested but the overall belief was that Freeman and the Braves would eventually come to an agreement that would keep him in Atlanta for the remainder of his career.
That point of view may be changing. ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the view on Freeman from within the industry has shifted and many now think that he will leave the Braves and sign somewhere else in free agency.
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.
“I think [the Braves] will move quickly to settle on an alternative and move on to get past the conversation,” one official said.
Freeman is expected to be one of the first dominoes to fall once the lockout is over. The Braves are expected to act quickly as well. Per the report, one agent said that Freeman’s negotiations became a competition between he and Atlanta’s front office. The Dodgers, Yankees and Blue Jays are teams that have had reported interest in Freeman.