The Braves failed to sign him before the lockout, and now they risk losing him to one of MLB’s financial powerhouses such as the Los Angeles Dodgers or the New York Yankees.
That’s obviously not an ideal scenario for Freeman, who wants to retire as a Brave, and fans, who look up to Freddie.
The first baseman reportedly wants a six-year deal worth as much as $180 million, and Atlanta is reluctant to make such a long financial commitment to a 32-year-old playing a non-premium position.
He shouldn’t be treated as just another first baseman, though: he is a fan favorite, a former MVP winner (2020), and a player who hit five homers in the 2021 postseason to lead the Braves to their first World Series victory since 1995, and without the team’s best player, Ronald Acuna Jr.
Besides, Freeman has deserved a massive extension long before 2021.
Freeman had signed an eight-year, $135 million contract extension with Atlanta before the 2014 season.
He played that whole deal out and was a star through and through.
He has done enough to deserve another huge payday, and at 32, he is not ancient.
Freeman Remains A Top Bat
In fact, he remains a highly productive player: last year, he hit 31 homers and scored 120 runs, while hitting .300/.393/.503 with a .896 OPS.
Dave O’Brien of The Athletic compared his recent performance to that of the NL MVP, Bryce Harper.
“Past six seasons (2016-2021) Freddie Freeman: .305/.399/.547, .946 OPS, 146 OPS+ 388 XBH (167 HR), 564 R, 517 RBI, 28.1 bWAR. Bryce Harper: .273/.396/.528, .925 OPS, 141 OPS+ 349 XBH (170 HR), 522 R, 504 RBI, 20.5 bWAR,” he tweeted.
Past six seasons (2016-2021)
Freddie Freeman: .305/.399/.547, .946 OPS, 146 OPS+
388 XBH (167 HR), 564 R, 517 RBI, 28.1 bWAR
.273/.396/.528, .925 OPS, 141 OPS+
349 XBH (170 HR), 522 R, 504 RBI, 20.5 bWAR
— David O'Brien (@DOBrienATL) February 21, 2022
Long story short (there are lots of numbers, there, we know), Freeman has been the more productive bat and the most valuable overall player between the two over the last six seasons.
We are not saying the Braves, or any other team, should give Freeman $330 million like the Philadelphia Phillies did with Harper.
We are saying, however, that he deserves to get paid top dollar.NEXT: Ronald Acuna Jr. Owns A Unique Part Of MLB History