Potential Landing Spots for Freddie Freeman

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Headed into the offseason, many believed that Freddie Freeman would be at the top of the list of players who would quickly re-sign with their respective team. Freeman has spent over a decade in the Atlanta Braves organization. He was the one player who remained through their rebuild. Freeman stuck with the team through so many rough years. He was rewarded with a World Series Championship in 2021. After being a part of their title-winning team, it seemed like Freeman would be able to sign whatever deal he wanted in order to stay with the Braves for the rest of his career. However, thus far, that is not the case. It once appeared unfathomable that the veteran would play for any other team. However, once the lockout is lifted, it appears to be a real possibility that he leaves. There are plenty of landing spots for Freeman if Atlanta does not bring him back.

Freeman has been one of, if not, the best first basemen of the past decade. He has compiled just about every accolade you can think of. He has five All-Star nods, three Silver Sluggers, a Gold Glove award, a Hank Aaron award, an MVP, and a World Series Championship. Freeman has a career slashline of .295/.384/.509. However, as great of a player as he is, Braves manager Brian Snitker consistently raves about Freeman as a great leader and person. It’s hard to picture him in another jersey, but here are some potential landing spots if Freeman leaves.

New York Yankees

One of the New York Yankees‘ biggest weaknesses as an offense is their lack of left-handed bats. On their current 40-man roster, Joey Gallo is the only left-handed hitter with a lot of experience. Meanwhile, Freeman is undoubtedly one of the best left-handed hitters in the big leagues. New York currently has Luke Voit at first, but they reportedly tried to trade the 2020 home run leader this past season. This obviously suggests that they aren’t attached to Voit as a player. Voit led everyone with 22 home runs in the shortened 2020 season, but regressed quite a bit in 2021. Freeman is a picture of consistency and so he would fit perfectly in a streaky Yankees lineup.

Boston Red Sox

Freeman would fit on another AL East team as well, the Boston Red Sox. Similar to Voit and the Yankees, the Red Sox’ current first baseman Bobby Dalbec has as much pop as anyone on the team. Dalbec had 25 homers in his first full season in the majors and had a .494 slugging percentage. However, he hit .240 with a .298 on-base percentage and a 34.4% strikeout rate. There is a lot of potential in Dalbec’s bat, but there may be too much volatility. The addition of Freeman would improve the team defensively and lengthen an already impressive lineup.

San Diego Padres

The San Diego Padres are another team who reportedly tried to trade their first baseman during the past season. Eric Hosmer, who currently mans first base for the Padres, was on the trading block at the deadline. The team’s goal was to get rid of the contract Hosmer has in which he is owed $59 million through the 2025 season. The veteran ended up remaining on the team, but lost some playing time down the stretch. Hosmer ended the 2021 season with a .732 OPS, which isn’t horrible, but not what the Padres envisioned when they signed him to an eight year deal before the 2018 season.

If they sign Freeman, they have the option to trade Hosmer later in the offseason or keep him and use him as a DH, assuming the universal DH is added in the next CBA. An infield of Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr., Jake Cronenworth, and Freeman would arguably be the best in baseball. For a team that fell short of expectations in 2021, the addition of Freeman would instantly make the Padres much better.

It is still very possible that Freeman returns to the Braves and finishes his career there. However, the fact that that didn’t happen before the lockout raises a lot of eyebrows. If he isn’t returning, there are landing spots that are lining up for Freeman. Whoever signs the World Series champ will be getting one of the best players and people in the league.

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Players/Managers Mentioned:

Freddie Freeman, Hank AaronBrian Snitker, Joey Gallo, Luke Voit, Bobby Dalbec, Eric Hosmer, Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr., Jake Cronenworth