Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Having already played 12 seasons in the Major Leagues and with a National League MVP Award and World Series title to his name, Los Angeles Dodgers All-Star Freddie Freeman knows a thing or two about what it means to be a part of a good team.
And Freeman anticipates 2023 to be as such for the Dodgers.
As much of the focus this offseason has been on departures of Dodgers free agents, Freeman took a moment to remind those who might be doubting the stature of the reigning 2022 NL West champions.
“The division is still ours until we lose, right?”, said Freeman this week. “We retook it last year. I think our team is very, very good.”
Although it’s difficult to envision the 2023 Dodgers will match the record-setting 111 wins from last year due to the notable departures of Trea Turner to the Philadelphia Phillies, Cody Bellinger to the Chicago Cubs, and Justin Turner to the Boston Red Sox, among others, Freeman isn’t so quick to conclude that the team is poised for a decline.
“When you lose Trea Turner, obviously everyone sees that,” Freeman admitted. “And losing Cody, who has been such a staple for this organization, and obviously the big red man, Justin Turner. Just a special person, a special player who meant so much to the Dodgers organization.
“Boston is getting a good one. They’re going to love him there, just like we love him here no matter what. But yes, I still love our team.”
At 33 years old, Freeman is set for 2023 coming off of one of his arguably best year at the plate, narrowly missing a batting title with a .325 average, 21 home runs, 100 RBI and remarkable .918 on-base plus slugging percentage. Freeman has posted a minimum .300 batting average in six of his last seven seasons.
Despite the offseason losses that the Dodgers experienced, Freeman remains confident in the lineup.
“When you’ve got Mookie Betts, Will Smith, Max Muncy, J.D. Martinez, and then you can just roll off our pitching. I think we’ve still got a really good team.”
A five-time All-Star, Martinez hit 16 home runs and finished 62 RBI last year with the Red Sox.
With only weeks remaining before the Dodgers descend upon Camelback Ranch for Spring Training, it’s clear that Freeman doesn’t doubt the team’s outlook for the 2023 season.
“We’ve got a really good one,” he said.
Freddie Freeman reunited with Jason Heyward
After being teammates together with the Atlanta Braves from 2010-2014, Freeman and Jason Heyward have reunited within the Dodgers organization.
Although there are doubts regarding Heyward’s ability to make the club’s 40-man roster off a Minor League contract, especially with his recent below-average seasons that ended his tenure with the Chicago Cubs, Freeman has optimism about his former teammate’s capabilities.
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