Freddie Freeman’s name was not in Monday’s megadeal with the Atlanta Braves. Alex Anthopoulos, the general manager of the Atlanta Braves refused to even say it while he stood in front microphones.
Anthopoulos’ eyes were filled with tears.
Freeman’s time with the Braves looks over. The World Series champions have acquired All-Star firstbaseman Matt Olson from Oakland Athletics. This was a franchise-altering deal that included four players including young outfielder Cristian Pach.
Freeman was the 2020 NL MVP, and he was a five-time All-Star in 12 seasons with Atlanta. His outspoken leadership was crucial to last year’s championship winning team. After the season, he was granted free agency, but it was difficult to believe that the Brave of a long career would not return.
As part of the labor lockout, which lasted 99 days, he didn’t sign until rosters were frozen Dec. 2. Reports indicated that the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees were keen to sign the left-handed slugger when rosters were unlocked on Thursday.
Anthoploulos stated that Freeman was not coming back Sunday night. He went full-steam following Olson.
Anthopoulos called Olson “one of the greatest first basemen in the game.”
Freeman is still a free agent, but he declined to talk about it. He admitted that he has never had more trouble emotionally pulling the trigger on trades.
He said, “You get attached.”
Brian Snitker, Atlanta manager, was speaking with reporters when ESPN broke the story. It was the first time he heard of the trade.
Snitker said that Freeman has been “our guy for a number years.” “Personally, he means a lot to us.”
Olson is 66 years old and Snitker knows Olson. Olson grew up 40 minutes east from Atlanta’s Truist park in Lilburn, Georgia. Snitker stated that they have been involved in several youth baseball camps together.
Olson, who has a career average of.252, 142 homers, and an OPS of.859 over six seasons is a two time Gold Glove winner. Olson, 27, hit 39 home runs and drove in 111 runs in last season’s AL MVP voting. He is currently under team control until 2023.
Olson stated that he was open to the possibility of a trade amid rumors about a possible teardown in Oakland. Olson is happy to be back in his hometown.
Olson stated, “Obviously, Atlanta is my hometown.” It’s my hometown, World Series champs. It’s the best place to leave and go if you only had one choice. It’s exciting to me.”
Georgian teammates and fans have always admired Freeman. Charlie Morton, Braves pitcher, stated that Freeman would be back if he was able to. He also said that Freeman’s photo would be displayed on the team’s spring-training complex like the photos of franchise heroes Chipper Jones or Hank Aaron.
Morton stated, “He’s going be one of those guys with his number retired, and a Braves Legend, not to say that he’s already, but I think he is,” Morton added.
Freeman, a career.295 hitter was able to surpass 20 homers eight more times, including a career high of 38 in 2019. Freeman boasts two 100-RBI seasons and three years with more than 90 runs. In 2020, he won the NL MVP Award. He also finished in the top 10 of balloting five times.
Freeman’s contribution to the organization is more than his impressive stats. Freeman was unquestionably the leader of the clubhouse, and the face for the Braves franchise to Braves fans who begged him to stay.
Snitker stated Sunday that he was going to be a friend for the rest of his life. “I love the guy, regardless of what happens professionally.”
Freeman batting.304 had five homers, eleven RBIs and a 1.045 OPS in the postseason when Atlanta won its first championship since 1995. Freeman expressed his desire to remain in Atlanta as the Braves celebrated their championship victory at Minute Maid Park.
He said, “This is a crazy sport, a crazy business.” “But everybody knows that this is where my heart lies.”
Beginning in 2022, the National League will adopt the designated hitter. Now that Marcell Ozuna, a poor-fielder, has been released from his 20-game ban as a result of the Major League Baseball domestic violence policy, Atlanta will be Atlanta’s designated hitter.
Pache is a friend of Atlanta’s star Ronald Acuna Jr., another loss that could shake the Braves clubhouse. The 23-year old Pache, who is a stellar defensive center fielder has struggled to hit the majors. He batting.111 in 22 games in last season. Acuna and Pache arrived at Braves camp Sunday wearing matching, glittery-gold SUVs.
Pache tweeted, “My heart is broken.” “I just learned that I was traded by the A’s. Although I understand that this is how the business works, I want Braves fans know that I will always be grateful to him no matter where he goes. I want to thank you for your support, for all the love, and for being so special.
Oakland also receives Shea Langeliers, a minor league catcher, and right-handers Ryan Cusick & Joey Estes. Langeliers was named Atlanta’s No. Baseball America ranked Langeliers as Atlanta’s No. 2 prospect, one spot ahead Pache with Cusick at ninth and Estes at 14th.