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Atlanta Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos having to address the media after trading for Freddie Freeman’s replacement Matt Olson in a deal with the Oakland Athletics was hard to watch.
It was a tough day for Atlanta Braves fans, as general manager Alex Anthopoulos traded for Freddie Freeman’s replacement at first base in a blockbuster deal with the Oakland Athletics for Matt Olson.
Anthopoulos has not been with the Braves for as long as Freeman was, but you can tell the toll it took on him when it became a harsh reality that Freeman would be walking. Knowing his team would be outbid for Freeman’s services, Anthopoulos gave up the farm to get the All-Star first baseman out of Oakland. While Olson grew up in Braves Country, this was a cathartic moment.
No, these were not crocodile tears, as Anthopoulos is visibly upset about the hardest move he has ever had to make in his professional career.
Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos visibly upset after Matt Olson trade with A’s
This is one of those rare trades where neither fan base feels great about it. Oakland loses arguably its best player, while Atlanta accepts the fact its franchise cornerstone is no more. Yes, Olson being a local product helps ease the pain, but Freeman is almost certainly gone, as well as four prospects, including outfielder Cristian Pache and catcher Shea Langeliers. This was a brutal day.
In all likelihood, Freeman will sign with either the Los Angeles Dodgers, the New York Yankees or the Toronto Blue Jays. He grew up in Southern California. While the Yankees are a major market team, keep in mind that Freeman holds dual citizenship, as his parents grew up in Canada. Though he never wanted to leave, once again, professional baseball is and always will be a business.
No matter what comes next, Freeman gave his all for the Braves. He was a perennial All-Star at first base, won NL MVP in 2020 and went out on top as a World Series champion in 2021. While the final third of his career will tell the tale if he will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame one day, let’s hope the Braves never issue out the No. 5 jersey again. That belongs to him.
Atlanta went from on top of the world in early November to utterly soul-crushed by mid-March.