Freddie Freeman and Braves Manager, Brian Snitker, share a moment in the ring presentation. PC: AP
The Freddie Freeman storyline unfolds further and the plot thickens. Is it recency bias emotions or was it a mistake not to resign with the Braves?
From being drafted in 2007 by Atlanta, earning five All-Star nods and the NL MVP, and finally bringing home the title, Freddie Freeman was the second coming of Chipper Jones in the eyes of fans. Even before the World Series celebrations, Freeman was touted as one of the best free agents but it seemed to be a no brainer lock that he would become a Brave for life.
Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. The two sides couldn't agree to terms and that lock became a soft maybe. Freeman wanted more years and the negotiations stalled. The lockout endured and when things resumed, the Braves flat out disregarded their star and acquired Matt Olson from the Athletics.
Oddly enough, it was a eight-year, $168 million contract. The Braves offered Freeman a $135 million, five-year offer. Freeman wanted 6 years, which would put him at 38 years old. This Olson deal puts him in a Braves uniform until he's 36. Kind of weird for a 2 year difference?
The writing was on the wall, and Freeman was on his way out. He set his sights for his home in California, and teamed up with Kershaw and Betts in Dodgerland. He signed a six-year contract worth $162 million.
Flash forward to this month, less than midway through the 2022 season, their seems to be speculation that the grass isn't greener in Los Angeles.
The Dodgers and Braves met in Atlanta, and Freeman had his homecoming. He received his ring. His family met back up with their friends. He reunited with his old teammates. It was emotional for him.
Makes sense right?
Well, teammate and vocal leader in LA's locker room, Clayton Kershaw, had this to say.
“It was very cool (to see Freeman’s reception Friday night), He’s obviously been a big contributor for our team. And I hope we’re not second fiddle. It’s a pretty special team over here, too. I think whenever he gets comfortable over here, he’ll really enjoy it. It was a good night for him (Friday).” - Clayton Kershaw via Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
It was a gentle reminder to Freeman to remember which team he currently plays for. I feel like this is something that doesn't need to be announced to the world, but that's just me.
According to ESPN sources, Friends of Freeman in the Braves organization believe that his weekend-long emotion was tied, to some degree, to lingering anger and sadness that his negotiations concluded with him playing with a team other than the club that initially drafted him.
This resulted in today's news that Freeman fired his agent and now will be listed as self representing. He wasn't happy with how it all went down, especially even more so now that he had a chance to head back to his old home.
Twitter is now in a frenzy, saying that there is some friction in LA. But it also could be all smoke.
So where does this lead us? The Dodgers hold a 1.5 game lead in the NL West and seem to be one of the teams to beat in the National League. His former team the Braves are also very much in the mix, holding down the 2nd Wild Card spot and are five games back from the Mets in the East.
Could a trade be in the mix? Freddie Freeman does not have a no-trade clause in his contract with the Dodgers. There are no player options. No club options. He is signed through the 2027 season.
It's also hard to say that Freeman's feelings are mutual with Atlanta. If they do consider this, the Braves would probably have to eat some money, because Freeman is out performing Olson.
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I think emotions got to the best of him and that this is all blown out of proportion. The deadline will pass and he will still be a Dodger, with the hopes of getting back into the World Series yet again. Crazier things have happened, so keep an eye out on this actually unfolds differently.