MLB is always full of surprises.
A few months ago, we were criticizing one particular MLB team for always being on the bottom part of the payroll rankings in recent seasons and failing to capitalize on their wide open contention window with some quality free agent signings.
We were talking, specifically, about the Tampa Bay Rays’ unwillingness to spend money to be even more competitive and finally take that step forward that could lift them to a World Series title.
Fast-forward a few months, and we are officially in awe: the Rays not only have money (shocker), but they are actually not afraid to spend it.
They signed uber-prospect Wander Franco to an 11-year, $182 million deal.
They also brought in proven veteran Corey Kluber, formerly on the New York Yankees, on a one-year, $8 million contract with additional $5 million in incentives.
And now, we found out another surprising development that took place before the lockout.
Sources: The low-revenue Tampa Bay Rays made superstar Freddie Freeman an offer before the lockout. Yankees very interested. Jays, Dodgers, others could fit. It’s a surprise Braves didn’t lock him up before lockout; they remain in mix. (New daily feature: actual baseball news)
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 7, 2022
“Sources: The low-revenue Tampa Bay Rays made superstar Freddie Freeman an offer before the lockout. Yankees very interested. Jays, Dodgers, others could fit. It’s a surprise Braves didn’t lock him up before lockout; they remain in mix. (New daily feature: actual baseball news),” MLB insider Jon Heyman tweeted.
The Rays Want Freeman!
Yes, that’s right: the low-budget Rays are, or at least were, interested in adding Freeman, the superstar former MVP winner who is a prime candidate to truly consider other teams because the Atlanta Braves, his team during his entire MLB career, doesn’t want to meet his years and salary demands.
Freeman reportedly wants six years and $180 million, and the Braves don’t want to go that long.
If the Rays can somehow get Freeman to their very good lineup, they may very well be World Series favorites.
The Freeman sweepstakes will be the most exciting storyline to follow once the lockout is lifted.
Freeman hit .300/.393/.503 with 31 home runs, 120 runs scored, and 83 RBI in 2021.