It’s official. Freddie Freeman is not returning to the Atlanta Braves. We knew this, even before ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel and Jeff Passan reported that Freeman had agreed to a six-year, $162 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers late Wednesday night. We knew this, in part, because the Braves had already acquired his replacement, former Oakland Athletics first baseman Matt Olson. But we knew it mostly because Freeman himself made it Instagram official. That’s when you know it’s real.
Seriously though, the 2020 National League MVP is heading to a team that was already the World Series favorites. Where do we begin? How about here: For the past few months, sporadic reports about negotiations between Freeman’s representatives and the Braves suggested that the obstacle in the talks was the length of the deal. Freeman wanted six years; the Braves did not want to give him six years. That was the scuttlebutt, anyway.
Well, surely if the Braves, the only organization for whom Freeman has played and with whom he had become entrenched as the face of a championship team, didn’t want to go six years, then no one wanted to go six years. Except — the Dodgers went six years. More than a few Braves fans will read that news and find it more than a little bitter.