Freddie Freeman has reportedly agreed to a six year deal for $162 million with the Los Angeles Dodgers according to ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel.
BREAKING: Freddie Freeman has agreed to terms with the Dodgers on a six-year, $162 million deal according to @JeffPassan and me.— Kiley McDaniel (@kileymcd) March 17, 2022
Freddie said his farewells to the Braves fans and organization on Wednesday via Instagram prior to finalizing this deal, but after the Braves trade for Matt Olson and subsequent extension for Olson all but confirmed that Freeman would not be playing in Atlanta in 2022 and beyond. Freeman accumulated 42.2 fWAR in a Braves uniform and was beloved by his teammates and fanbase alike in his twelve seasons with Atlanta, which fittingly culminated in him catching the ball to clinch the team’s victory in the 2021 World Series.
Based on the reporting of what Atlanta offered, my best guess at what happened to result in Freeman going elsewhere is that Freeman’s agent overplayed the situation and/or Freeman took a long time deciding on which offer to accept and suitors such as the Braves, and reportedly the Yankees and Blue Jays felt that they couldn’t wait any longer to flesh out their roster at the risk of being caught without an option, so they pivoted to Matt Olson, Anthony Rizzo, and Matt Chapman, respectively. The Dodgers have such depth that they didn’t need to pivot and could afford to wait out the market. There was a report from Jim Bowden on Wednesday that some executives believed that Freeman’s camp had overplayed his hand, so this would fit with that idea.
It is, of course, also possible that the Braves simply weren’t willing to give Freeman as much money as the likes of the Dodgers, however. Regardless, Freeman will be close to his southern California home, making a lot of money, and playing for a very good team next season, so good for him. Meanwhile, the Braves have a very good first baseman in Matt Olson and were able to save money that they could use on the likes of Eddie Rosario and Collin McHugh in building a formidable roster as they seek to defend their World Series title.