Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Several free agents signed contracts before the MLB lockout began in December, but Freddie Freeman surprisingly wasn’t among the group.
The five-time All-Star helped lead the Atlanta Braves to their first World Series since 1995, and the general assumption was the two parties would quickly agree to a new deal in free agency.
However, negotiations between Freeman and the Braves never gained much traction as they were believed to be in disagreement over a sixth year. The 32-year-old remaining on the open market fueled speculation he could potentially wind up signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers or New York Yankees.
According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, some around baseball are becoming more convinced Freeman will indeed leave the Braves when the lockout ends:
So the industry view has shifted; there is a growing belief that Freeman will land somewhere outside of Atlanta because of the standoff in his negotiations.
Braves legend Chipper Jones recently relayed Freeman harbored some frustration with the Braves over contract negotiations and would entertain offers from other teams, suggesting a split was plausible.
Braves manager Brian Snitker also recently acknowledged the possibility of Freeman signing elsewhere and said the club would have to keep going if their worst-case scenario becomes a reality.
The notion that the Dodgers would pursue Freeman seemingly became more likely when Corey Seager signed a 10-year contract with the Texas Rangers. The Southern California native is not a direct replacement for Seager at shortstop, but nevertheless would further help balance L.A.’s lineup.
Turner disagrees with Wood on Freeman preference
Alex Wood was among the players to sign prior to free agency coming to a halt, returning to the San Francisco Giants on a two-year contract. A former teammate of Freeman, the left-hander expressed hope he would re-sign with the Braves and not join the Dodgers in free agency.
Justin Turner of course disagreed with that preference and is among the Dodgers who would welcome Freeman to the team with open arms.
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