Sunday, July 21, 2024

MLB rumors: Dodgers coming on strong for Freddie Freeman as pursuit for free-agent first baseman continues

Talks between the Los Angeles Dodgers and free agent first baseman Freddie Freeman are “intensifying,” according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network. Morosi further reports that the two sides “remain in contact” Friday night on a possible deal. 

Freeman was, of course, drafted by the Braves in the second round in 2007 out of high school, developed by the organization, came up with a playoff-caliber team, stuck around through a radical rebuild and now has won an MVP and a World Series title in the last two years. He’s now played for the Braves for 12 years, 1,565 regular-season games and 42 playoff games. 

Through much of the 2021 season, many felt like Freeman and the Braves would eventually come together on a contract extension before he even hit free agency. In the celebration in Truist Park after the World Series parade, multiple Braves players yelled through microphones that the club needed to extend Freeman. 

Instead, he hit free agency and remains unsigned. 

The Dodgers are a fit for Freeman. They have perhaps the deepest pockets in baseball — though the Mets under Steve Cohen might change that moving forward — are a perennial contender, could easily fit him on their current roster and Freeman went to high school in Orange County. 

The sticking point for Freeman with the Braves has long been reported to be a sixth year. Freeman wants a six-year deal and the Braves reportedly only want to give five. 

Freeman, 32, hit .300/.393/.503 (133 OPS+) with 31 homers, 83 RBI and 120 runs last season, despite a terrible start. He made his fifth All-Star team and finished in the top 10 in NL MVP voting for the sixth time. In 16 playoff games, Freeman hit .304/.420/.625 with three doubles, five homers and 11 RBI. 

If the Braves lose Freeman, they’ll likely pivot to attempting to acquire Matt Olson from the A’s via trade, though someone like Anthony Rizzo in free agency would also make sense. 

On the Dodgers’ end, they are slated to use Max Muncy at first, Chris Taylor at second and probably some sort of rotation at designated hitter. Adding Freeman means he gets first base everyday, but Muncy can handle second and DH duties while Taylor has the versatility to roam on defense. 

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