MLB Rumors: ‘Faith Growing’ Freddy Freeman won’t re-sign with Braves after lockdown

The owner-imposed shutdown of Major League Baseball may have frozen the inconvenience, but that hasn’t stopped occasional rumors from slipping as to what teams intend to do if and when the league and the MLB Players Association ratify a new collective bargaining agreement.

Below, you can find Tuesday’s rumors, news, and observations from the vast world of baseball.

Can the brave move from Freeman?

One of the biggest surprises in the first half of season one was the lack of progress between the Atlanta Braves and first free agent Freddy Freeman on a new contract.

Despite Freeman being integral to the Braves winning the World Championship last fall, there seems to be a growing sense around the game that the franchise legend may not be returning to Atlanta. Just last week, Braves legend Chipper Jones expressed his belief that Freeman might look elsewhere when the lockdown is lifted. On Tuesday, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that there is “a growing belief that Freeman will land somewhere outside of Atlanta.” Olney included an expectation from an executive:

“I suspect [the Braves] He will move quickly to come up with an alternative and move forward to move beyond the conversation.”

Freeman is reportedly seeking a six-year deal. For their part, the Braves responded with a five-year proposal worth $135 million. For comparison’s sake, Paul Goldschmidt signed a five-year, $130 million deal after joining the St. Louis Cardinals in 2019 — and that was before he hit free agency.

Given that Freeman is a free agent and three years have passed, it makes sense that Freeman is worth more than an additional $5 million at the top.

Back in November, CBS Sports highlighted five teams that might be interested in Freeman if he decides to leave Atlanta. That group included the Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers and New York Yankees.

As for the Braves, they have already expressed an interest in trading with first team Oakland Athletics captain Matt Olson. Should Atlanta fail in their pursuit on this front, general manager Alex Anthopoulos could focus on hiring Anthony Rizzo as a temporary replacement.

Either way, it would be a disappointing ending to Freeman’s run with the Braves. In 12 seasons with the franchise, he has earned 138 OPS+ and earned 43 Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball-Reference estimates.