The New York Yankees are reportedly exploring free-agent options for a left-handed first baseman, and that includes Atlanta Braves star Freddie Freeman.
Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that New York met with Freeman's representatives, even though the likelihood is that he remains with the Braves.
Heyman added that re-signing Anthony Rizzo or pursuing a possible trade candidate in Oakland A's first baseman Matt Olson would be more realistic options for the Yankees.
Freeman has spent his entire 12-year career with Atlanta. After leading the team to its first World Series title since 1995, it can be expected that he would want to finish his career where he started.
But the Braves failed to lock up Freeman with an extension before the offseason, so testing the open market opens up a wealth of possibilities for the lefty slugger. Freeman followed up his 2020 NL MVP season with 31 home runs and 83 RBI while batting .300 this past year.
Despite making the playoffs for the fifth straight year, the Yankees are coming off a disappointing season in which the team failed to find any consistency. One of the glaring issues was the need for left-handed hitters in a righty-dominant lineup.
New York acquired Rizzo and outfielder Joey Gallo at this year's trade deadline in deals with the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers, respectively. Rizzo batted .249 and hit eight homers in 49 games in New York, while Gallo disappointed with a .160 average and 13 home runs in 58 games.
Freeman would fit nicely into the Yankees lineup, but he would likely require a big-money contract to pry him away from Atlanta. New York has multiple holes to fill in free agency, most notably at shortstop and in its starting pitching rotation.
Whether they land Freeman or not, the Yankees are poised to make a few splashes in free agency in hopes of setting themselves up to make their first World Series appearance since 2009.