The Atlanta Braves‘ roster is going to look a lot different this season with Matt Olson replacing Freddie Freeman as the team’s first baseman. Following the acquisition of Olson, Freeman chose to sign a six-year, $162 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
One person who was open about not being happy with Freeman taking his talents to Los Angeles is Hall of Fame third baseman Chipper Jones. He believes Freeman abandoned the Braves.
Here’s what Jones said about Freeman, via Atlanta radio station 680 The Fan:
“I do not agree with the way that this was handled on Freddie’s side. If you want to play in Atlanta, you play in Atlanta. You maybe take a little less to be happy and play in a place that is comfortable for you. The second that Freddie told me that he rejected the 5 for $135 [million] after the All-Star break, I told him, ‘You’re playing a very dangerous game. You go out on the free agent market, you get courted by all the pretty girls that are on the block, chances are, you’re not gonna come back. If you take your time waiting on that six-year [deal] into January, [Atlanta] has a job to do.'”
ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that Freeman’s representatives did reach out to the Braves organization to see if they had an offer late in the process. However, Freeman chose to accept a deal from the Dodgers that is less than what the Braves offered. Freeman was reportedly offered a five-year, $135 million deal by the Braves prior to the offseason.
Of course, Freeman agreeing to sign with the Dodgers came after the Braves had already acquired Olson from the Oakland Athletics via trade. The Braves clearly had moved on from Freeman. They weren’t waiting for Freeman to make his final decision.
Now Freeman will join one of the most dangerous lineups that we’ve seen in Major League Baseball in recent years, while the Braves try and repeat at World Series champions.