ESPN insider Buster Olney recently reported that there is a “growing belief” the 2020 National League MVP and 2021 World Series champion will not sign with the Braves.
The Braves are the ones apparently unwilling to meet the player’s demands, paving the way for other contenders to have a real shot at getting an elite slugger.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees are the two most likely landing spots for Freeman should the Braves really reject him.
Some fans have wondered how Freeman would react if he had to play on a big-market team, with huge expectations and a lot of pressure by fans and media.
New York and Los Angeles, certainly, are two places in which those situations are common: everybody knows playing for the Dodgers and, especially, the Yankees, has some baggage to it.
He Likely Won’t Succumb To Pressure From Outside
However, Olney doesn’t think that would be an issue at all.
“Re: Freeman and question of whether he might be comfortable in NY, if he doesn’t sign w/ATL or some other team–he reminds me of Paul O’Neill, who was more attuned to his own internal struggle rather than hearing outside voices/gripes. Freeman, like PO, is his own toughest critic,” he said.
Re: Freeman and question of whether he might be comfortable in NY, if he doesn't sign w/ATL or some other team–he reminds me of Paul O'Neill, who was more attuned to his own internal struggle rather than hearing outside voices/gripes. Freeman, like PO, is his own toughest critic
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) February 25, 2022
That’s, of course, not a fact, but an opinion.
But it’s certainly a valid one coming from an insider with direct knowledge of Freeman and the people around him.
He is used to playing under pressure, mainly coming from himself.
He is unlikely to feel too much outside pressure.
What could happen, however, is that his own standards go up, and the pressure he puts on himself to perform also increases.
At this point, it’s all speculation.
One thing is true: the slugger, who hit 31 homers with a .300 average last season, is the owner of his own destiny and can choose to take on a new challenge if he so desires.NEXT: A Long List Of Teams Remain In On Carlos Correa