Braves at risk of losing fans over cheapness in Freddie Freeman negotiations

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If Liberty Media goes cheap with Freddie Freeman, the Atlanta Braves may lose more than their superstar first baseman in the process.

Liberty Media’s recently released finances give the Atlanta Braves absolutely no excuse to not sign Freddie Freeman to a long-term extension.

Jeff Schultz of The Athletic brilliantly laid it out there that Liberty Media’s year-end finances show Braves revenue being at an all-time high. This is because Atlanta is coming off its first World Series championship in 26 years. Freeman has been the face of the franchise since Chipper Jones retired. For Liberty Media to say it cannot afford Freeman’s demands is just laughable at this point.

If Liberty Media and Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos let Freeman walk, what an unmitigated disaster this would be from a PR standpoint. Braves Country would absolutely lose it.

Atlanta Braves may lose fans with ownership being cheap with Freddie Freeman

Will there be a mass exodus of Braves fans switching allegiances if Atlanta lets Freeman walk? Probably not as big as one would think. However, it would be a disgusting scar on the heels of what was the best season this franchise has seen in over a quarter century. Braves baseball would lose a team ambassador for life in Freeman, as well as any leverage in future player negotiations.

Free agents will look at the Braves as being shamelessly cheap. This franchise moved from Atlanta to Cobb County so they could build The Battery and reap the benefits of doing so financially. Yes, people will still show up to Truist Park to watch the Braves play for years, but letting Freeman walk will turn some people off this ownership group. You gotta dance with the one that brung ya.

Freeman wants six years on a new contract. He turns 33 years old in mid-September. Even if he falls off a cliff physically in years four, five or six of this contract, it is worth it. Freeman will go down as a career Brave and have his No. 5 jersey retired. He would go into Cooperstown playing for only one team, just like his mentor Jones. Freeman is an idol to millions of young Braves fans.

The karmic implications of going cheap with a franchise cornerstone cannot sit well with anyone.

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