Rosenthal: Braves negotiations with Matt Olson were so different than with Freddie Freeman – The Athletic

Rosenthal: Braves negotiations with Matt Olson were so different than with Freddie Freeman – The Athletic
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From 2011 to 2016, slugging first basemen roamed the baseball marketplace like dinosaurs, commanding one mega-contract after another. During that time,
Albert Pujols,
Joey Votto,
Miguel Cabrera and
Chris Davis received deals averaging nearly nine years and more than $25 million. Only Votto proved worth the money, and as teams got smarter, massive, long-term contracts for first basemen became extinct.

The five-year, $130 million extension Paul Goldschmidt signed with the Cardinals in March 2019 is the current bellwether for first basemen. Freddie Freeman considered that deal a floor in his talks with the Braves before he became a free agent. Matt Olson, the player the Braves acquired to replace Freeman, also was working off Goldschmidt’s blueprint when he agreed to an eight-year, $168 million extension Tuesday, less than 24 hours after arriving in a trade from the A’s.

Olson, entering his age 28 season, is 3 1/2 years younger than Goldschmidt was at the time of their respective deals.