Braves beat writer Mark Bowman published an interesting Q&A on Wednesday, which featured an exclusive interview with Freddie Freeman. Among the topics were the odd arrangements of this Spring Training, Freeman’s spring stats, his family, and finally, his much-anticipated extension. However, the response by Freeman when posed the question was hardly encouraging:
MLB.com: There was some thought you might get a contract extension before you enter this final season of your contract. Can you tell us if there has been any progress on this front?
Freeman: I just saw Lance McCullers got his extension and I’ve been seeing the reports about Juan Soto, Trea Turner and other guys in the NL East. I’m happy for them. They deserve it. They are such amazing ballplayers. But in my case, we haven’t been approached yet, my agents or I. We’ve got a week left before the season. My main focus is getting ready for the season next and being ready for April 1 in Philadelphia and getting to the World Series. That’s my main focus. But in terms of extension talks, we haven’t been approached yet.
This could be some sort of smokescreen to shield the public from knowing the inner workings of the organization, but if true this would be a significant story for the future of the franchise. It seems prudent for the Braves to at least broach the subject if they intend to keep Freeman long-term, but hopefully those talks will begin soon if they truly haven’t already.
Shortstop and catcher feel like relatively stable spots for the Braves heading into the 2021 season, but FanGraphs appears to be less impressed. Catcher would certainly seem to rank better than 13th with Travis d’Arnaud coming back, but not in their estimation.
The Braves optioned these two talented right-handers to the alternate training site on Wednesday. Both players should get plenty of opportunity in Atlanta at some point this season, but not right away.
Austin Riley hit two absolute moonshots against the Pirates, hopefully propelling his bat toward the start of a productive regular season.
Gabe Burns takes a shot at predicting the Opening Day roster.
Who will earn Rookie of the Year honors this season?
The Braves make the “just missed” list, but do not rank within the top-ten, which feels strange given their organizational depth on the mound in recent years.
Tough call. Who are you taking?