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Freddie Freeman, Dodgers Reportedly Finalizing 6-Year, $162M Contract

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMarch 17, 2022

Megan Varner/Getty Images

Freddie Freeman will reportedly chase another championship on a different team.

After helping lead the Atlanta Braves to the 2021 World Series title, the first baseman and the Los Angeles Dodgers have agreed to terms on a six-year, $162 million contract, per Kiley McDaniel and Jeff Passan of ESPN.

There was a time when Freeman joining any other team could be classified as surprising considering Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported in November ahead of the winter meetings he "couldn't find a soul who believes Freeman won't be returning to Atlanta."

Still, Nightengale pointed out the 32-year-old had rejected the team's five-year, $135 million offer and was looking for something resembling a six-year, $200 million deal.

What's more, ESPN's Buster Olney reported in February that "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."

The eventual separation seemed even more inevitable when the Braves traded for first baseman Matt Olson.

Freeman must have liked the offer from Los Angeles, which is a major boost for the team's championship aspirations in 2022.

After all, his resume includes the World Series title, the 2020 National League MVP, five All-Star selections, three Silver Sluggers and a Gold Glove. He has finished in the top 10 of NL MVP voting six different times in his career, underscoring his overall consistency since he entered the league in 2010.

He missed a total of seven combined games the last four seasons and slashed .300/.393/.503 with 31 home runs and 83 RBI during the 2021 campaign.

Freeman was also at his best in the biggest moments and slashed .304/.420/.625 with five home runs and 11 RBI in 16 playoff games for the Braves.

The first baseman can impact the game with his glove, ability to hit for average and overall power at the plate, and he played some of the best baseball of his career in the pressure-packed run to his first World Series title.

He should be a natural fit for the Dodgers and immediately bolsters their championship chances as one of the best free-agent signings of the entire offseason.

Los Angeles has plenty of pop on the right side of the plate with Mookie Betts, Trea Turner and Justin Turner, among others. It now has one of the best left-handed hitters in the entire league and should terrorize opposing pitching staffs throughout the upcoming season.

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