A recent report by Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal that stated that the Braves were listening to offers and actively shopping Freddie Freeman created a bit of a stir throughout the Atlanta fanbase. While you should never really trust what officials say in regards to players during this time of the year, the Braves have actively denied that they are interested in moving Freeman.
MLB.com's Mark Bowman touched on the subject in his latest mailbag and doesn't think there is much to the rumors at this point.
"Yeah, there have been some recent reports that the Braves are shopping Freeman and Teheran, but from what I have gathered, this is more a product of due diligence and assumptions that have developed as Atlanta has dealt so many of its top players over the past year."
Bowman goes on to point out that Freeman struggled after sustaining a wrist injury during the second half of the season and doesn't think Atlanta could find a team willing to offer a great return while taking on the remaining $118 million owed to him until he has a chance to prove he is healthy. That doesn't necessarily mean that the Braves don't have his name out there, only that they are unlikely to receive an offer that they would find good enough to seriously think about moving him.
"Teams won't truly know whether Freeman's wrist is completely healed until he's subjected to the daily grind for a couple of months next year. This will be the only way that he can re-establish his value."
"If Freeman is productive through the early portion of next season, then it might make sense for the Braves to gauge his value on the trade market. But at this moment, it appears they still want Freeman to serve as the franchise's cornerstone."
Given the depths that the front office has gone to rebuild the franchise, it probably isn't smart to not listen to offers for any player on the roster. That doesn't mean, however, that they should actually trade a player like Freeman, but a team with as many holes as the Braves have shouldn't have an untouchable player at this point.
You can't blame the fanbase for being a bit on edge either. The Andrelton Simmons trade rumors surfaced on November 10 and he was headed to Anaheim a day later. For now the Freeman rumors seem to be just noise, but with the Braves at this time of the year, you can never be too sure.