The MLB offseason reached a fever pitch in recent days with many of the top line free agents coming off the board ahead of the CBA’s expiration Wednesday night. The Atlanta Braves have been relatively quiet signing backup catcher Manny Pina and reliever Kirby Yates. There hasn’t been any public movement in their pursuit of retaining free agent Freddie Freeman. They have however kicked the tires on at least one contingency plan for Freeman according to a report by Jon Heyman who says that Atlanta is among the teams that have checked in on Athletics’ first baseman Matt Olson.
Braves have checked in on A’s star 1B Matt Olson, presumably as a contingency plan in case Freddie Freeman leaves via free agency. Most still have a hard time envisioning Freeman in any other uniform but Braves want to be prepared.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 1, 2021
With the A’s likely facing a tear down of their roster, the parallels make sense. Olson is a terrific young talent that would no doubt come with a high price tag. Whether this is simply due diligence on Atlanta’s part or something more remains to be seen.
There has been precious few updates in regards to Freddie Freeman and his free agent negotiations. Most reports seem to expect Freeman will ultimately return to the Braves. There has been speculation in recent days about the Los Angeles Dodgers being a likely suitor but there hasn’t been anything official linking them to the pursuit.
Yankees are definitely interested in Freddie Freeman but like most they have a hard time seeing the Braves let him get away (me: and if he does go, his hometown Dodgers make the most sense)— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 30, 2021
Heyman also suggests that Freeman is looking for around $180 million over a six-year deal. We have no way of knowing if that is factual or not but that seems like a reasonable enough number given that the team allowed him to reach free agency in the first place. Not getting this done sooner will likely cost them another year with additional money tacked on.
Word is Freeman had been seeking about $180M for 6 years. Seems reasonable to me. If that’s it, Braves should just pay him.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 30, 2021
Atlanta under Alex Anthopoulos is notorious for keeping things quiet, but Freeman’s side is under no obligation to do so. Still, there hasn’t been a ton of rumors in regards to teams making Freeman a priority. At least not yet. My feeling is that a lack of buzz around Freeman supports the idea that teams do think he will ultimately sign with the Braves. However, the longer this goes, the more of a chance that other teams will see that there might just be a chance to get Freeman away from Atlanta. Unfortunately, with a work stoppage coming, this situation isn’t likely to be rectified anytime soon.