Most of the rumors surrounding the Dodgers and Freddie Freeman this offseason seemed difficult to fathom, because it just seemed right that the former MVP first baseman would eventually return to Atlanta, where he is a franchise icon.
But on Monday it became clear Freeman wouldn’t be returning to the Braves, who instead traded for the A’s Matt Olson to play first base. Atlanta general manager Alex Anthopoulos fought tears during his scrum with reporters and, per Kris Willis at Battery Power, said, “I’ve been here four years, I’m entering my fifth, this is the hardest decision and transaction that I’ve had to make.”
Jeff Schultz at The Athletic said the Braves losing Freeman was much worse than a public relations disaster. “The Braves are a lesser team today because Liberty Media is as emotionally invested in its baseball team as a canned food company is in its line of pork and beans,” Schultz wrote.
“I would love for Freddie Freeman to be in a Dodgers uniform. Who wouldn’t?” Roberts said. “He’s certainly in the conversation for us, but ultimately it’s going to be his decision.”
Dodgers players haven’t hid their interest for Freeman, even more so than Justin Turner joking with former teammate Alex Wood on Twitter about Freeman signing with another NL West team.
Max Muncy, whose primary position is the same as Freeman, said last week it would be “awesome” to play with Freeman.
After learning of the Braves’ trade for Olson on Monday, some Dodgers reacted. From Bill Plunkett at the Orange County Register:
“Obviously, it leaves Freddie kind of out there for us,” Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw said. “I don’t know. I feel great about our team the way it is now. I feel like we have a real chance to win with the guys in this clubhouse. With that said, Freddie’s a really good baseball player.”
Now we wait for Freeman’s choice, with one rather large obstacle removed out of the Dodgers’ way.