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The Braves getting good news in the latest round of Freddie Freeman rumors? Who ever thought that was possible.
Buster Olney’s latest insight into the Freeman contract talks suggested that the star first baseman could very well be on his way out of Atlanta when the lockout ends. Freeman had reportedly grown frustrated with the Braves front office, and their unwillingness to add a sixth year to his contract after making him play the entire 2021 campaign on an expiring deal.
Given Liberty Media’s revenue targets, which were also released this week and showed a stunning amount of growth year-over-year, it’s safe to say Freeman has won the PR battle. But all is not lost.
Per Olney, the Braves can cross at least one team off the list of biggest threats from Freeman — the New York Yankees.
Buster Olney: Yankees out of running for Freddie Freeman
The Yankees likely have their eyes set elsewhere for a capable first baseman — perhaps one that will be a little more affordable than Freeman, who has already turned down a five-year, $135 million deal.
Matt Olson, for one, has already been linked to the Bronx, while Anthony Rizzo spent the second half of last season at Yankee Stadium. Both would be suitable instead of Freeman.
This is great news for the Braves, as it limits Freeman’s potential suitors. The Los Angeles Dodgers, for one, appear to be their greatest threat. Freeman is from California and the Dodgers have plenty of money to spend. Add in that they already lost Corey Seager and Max Scherzer this offseason, with Clayton Kershaw perhaps soon to follow, and Los Angeles wants to make a big splash.
Signing Freeman, while moving Max Muncy to second base and Trea Turner to shortstop, qualifies as such a signing to complete their infield.
The Braves still hold the edge, but it’s a narrow advantage. Eliminating the Yankees for the conversation entirely helps for now.