He made his major league debut in 2010 with a handful of at-bats, and has been a stalwart in the lineup ever since.
He has won Gold Gloves, Silver Sluggers, the MVP award and a World Series, and remains in his prime, at 32.
Yet the Braves don’t seem at all interested in bringing him back.
They signed him to a big eight-year, $135 million extension before the 2014 campaign, which expired after the 2021 Fall Classic.
He was worth every penny of the extension, and then some.
However, they are now allegedly against paying Freeman $180 million over six years, which are his reported demands.
They may see it as a risky proposition to pay him until he is 38.
The Braves Should Retain Freeman
They may be right, but there is no way to know: instead, they are letting perhaps the most representative Brave of the last decade hit the free agent market and evaluate other offers.
Freeman may or may not age gracefully, but the Braves are making a mistake by potentially letting him leave because he remains one of MLB’s top hitters even at 32.
The #Braves could have locked up Freddie Freeman for 6 years, at a cost of approximately $180M. Would have been a wise move to do that pre Lockout. Now they may miss out. Not just losing a great player, but a fan favorite and one who brings fans to the ballpark. Very frustrating.
— Dan Clark (@DanClarkSports) February 22, 2022
He slashed .300/.393/.503 with 31 homers, 120 runs, 83 RBI, and a .896 OPS in 2021, and that’s with an ugly start.
Once he got going, he didn’t stop hitting: in fact, he slashed .304/.420/.625 with five homers, 11 RBI, and a 1.045 OPS in the postseason.
He may not be productive in his sixth or even fifth year of that contract, but he is young and good enough to be elite for at least three or four of those years, perhaps more.
In fact, they should have signed him years ago.