Sport Could Freddie Freeman leave the Braves? Five potential suitors if first baseman pulls free agent surprise

01:36  16 november  2021
01:36  16 november  2021 Source:   cbssports.com

Late innings = late nights as World Series games lengthen

  Late innings = late nights as World Series games lengthen HOUSTON (AP) — Late innings means late nights in the World Series, with many fans struggling to stay awake as the Braves and Astros play baseball’s most important games of the year. The first five Series games averaged 3 hours, 41 minutes, up from 3:37 for the Los Angeles Dodgers’ six-game win over Tampa Bay last year. The opener took 4:06 and Game 5 lasted exactly 4 hours, both ending after midnight on the East Coast. This year’s overall postseason average of 3:38 is an increase from 3:32 last year.Sooner or later, Major League Baseball will institute a pitch clock — with or without an agreement with the players’ association.

If there was one top free agent whose destination seemed apparent heading into the offseason, it was first baseman Freddie Freeman. Freeman, long a fixture with the Atlanta Braves, still seems unlikely to leave town just weeks after helping the franchise win its first World Series championship in more than two decades.

  Could Freddie Freeman leave the Braves? Five potential suitors if first baseman pulls free agent surprise © Provided by CBS Sports

There is a difference between "improbable" and "impossible," however, and that difference is worth remembering until Freeman puts his pen to paper bearing the Braves' letterhead. Besides, Freeman may owe it to himself to feign interest in other clubs, even if it's simply a negotiating ploy to close the $65 million gap between his desired deal and Atlanta's proposal, as reported by USA Today's Bob Nightengale.

Freddie Freeman hugging his dad after World Series is what baseball's all about

  Freddie Freeman hugging his dad after World Series is what baseball's all about Freddie Freeman found his dad after the Braves won the World Series. In the end, that's what baseball is all about. Family. Freeman came alive in the second half of this series, and hit a home run in Game 6 to essentially seal the game. In doing so, his son Charlie reacted in turn. Three gen erations of Freeman men are entrenched in baseball. Freddie Freeman's son Charlie loves this content pic.twitter.com/gBBhDbOm2M — Mark Powell (@mp2_pgh) November 3, 2021 After the game, Freeman found his father, hugging him after finally reaching the baseball pinnacle.

We here at CBS Sports are nothing if not the messy, speculative type. As such, we wanted to take a swing at highlighting five other teams who could get involved on Freeman if talks with the Braves fail to progress at an acceptable pace.

Before we go any further, here's what CBS Sports wrote about Freeman when we ranked him as the fifth best free agent available on the market:

It's hard to imagine the Braves allowing Freeman to leave. Still, we're including him for posterity's sake. Freeman is a sensational hitter who hasn't posted an OPS+ of less than 130 since he was a 22-year-old in 2012. He's also a mighty fine first baseman, and he's become a bastion of durability as of late: over the last four years, he's appeared in 539 of the Braves' 545 games (that's 98.9 percent, for those without access to a calculator). It's to be seen what kind of term Freeman seeks, but on paper he seems like someone who should age gracefully.

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  Choke? These Braves roared, all the way to an 'improbable' World Series title His teammates were out of the dugout, whooping and waving their arms, before Jorge Soler was even out of the batter’s box. With two on and two out in the third inning, Luis Garcia threw Soler a 3-2 cutter that was crushed so definitively that the pitcher didn’t even turn around to look where it went. The Braves danced in the dirt along the third-base side again when Dansby Swanson hit a two-run home run 411 feet and when Freddie Freeman hit a solo shot 416 feet. There was very little reason to doubt that they would get it done as Braves scored over half a dozen unanswered runs en route to a 7-0 victory in Game 6 to clinch the championship.

Now, onto the speculation. (Do note the teams are ranked in order of perceived likelihood.)

1. Texas Rangers

The Rangers are believed to be open to throwing around significant wads of cash this offseason, making them a dark horse candidate to land a number of top free agents. It stands to reason they'll find someone willing to take their coins. Should it prove to be Freeman, then his addition would double as two things: 1) a much-needed boost to a lineup that ranked last in the American League in runs scored; and 2) a flag-planting maneuver for a franchise that hasn't been nationally relevant in five years.

2. San Francisco Giants

If the Giants are going to repeat as National League West champions, they're going to need to have a bold offseason. After all, Buster Posey has already retired while Brandon Belt, Kris Bryant, and most of their starting pitchers are on the open market. Signing a first baseman to a long-term contract wouldn't necessarily seem to be at the top of their to-do list, and it wouldn't fit into their seeming preference for versatile players, but Farhan Zaidi might make an exception given Freeman's talent level.

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3. Los Angeles Angels

General manager Perry Minasian is familiar with Freeman from their shared days with the Braves organization, and owner Arte Moreno loves him a big-time free-agent signing. Even so, the Angels would seem unlikely to prioritize Freeman to starting pitching given they had Jared Walsh on hand. Plus, Moreno might have reservations about locking in a first baseman to a long-term deal given how Albert Pujols' time with the organization played out.

4. Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers are similar to the Giants in the respects that they have to replace a number of notable players and that they tend to favor protean defenders. Still, the Dodgers under Andrew Friedman's watch have never shied away from adding elite talent whenever and however they can. Freeman certainly qualifies, and the Dodgers' inherent flexibility could allow them to fold him into the lineup if they so desire.

5. New York Yankees

The Yankees' sights appear set on the top shortstops, Carlos Correa and Corey Seager. In the event that New York comes up empty on both, perhaps Brian Cashman would consider changing gears and making Freeman his big offseason addition. While signing Freeman would render moot the "Anthony Rizzo or Luke Voit?" debate, it seems about as likely to happen as the Yankees dropping the pinstripes.

Athletics likely to trade 'almost every player with value'? .
Many players who have previously popped up in rumors — such as Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, Chris Bassitt and Frankie Montas — could be fair game.In a recent piece from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, he relays that it is unlikely they will bottom out to such a degree that their payroll drops as low as $40M, a level that even the low-budget Athletics haven’t seen in 20 years.

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This is interesting!