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Freddie Freeman Rumors: Insiders Believe Star Will 'Land Somewhere Outside' of Braves

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 22, 2022

AP Photo/John Bazemore, File

Though most around MLB had expected free-agent first baseman Freddie Freeman to return to the Atlanta Braves this offseason, ESPN's Buster Olney reported "the industry view has shifted."

There has been a reported "standoff" in negotiations, with Freeman seeking a six-year deal while the Braves offered $135 million over five years. It could cause the 32-year-old to "land somewhere outside of Atlanta," Olney reported.

"I think [the Braves] will move quickly to settle on an alternative and move on to get past the conversation," an official told Olney.

Teams are unable to sign free agents during the current lockout, but both sides could seek new options when the offseason resumes.

Freeman helped win the Braves their first World Series title since 1995 last season, hitting two home runs with a .318 batting average in the series win over the Houston Astros.

It came after a strong 2021 season where he hit .300 with 31 home runs and a league-best 120 runs scored, earning his fifth All-Star appearance in the process. In 2020, Freeman won the NL MVP with his career-best .341 batting average and 1.102 OPS.

Even 12 seasons into his major-league career, Freeman can make a significant impact on the field.

It would make him a great fit on many MLB teams, although few could afford him. Olney listed the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers as two possibilities, but the price tag could be more than either team wants to spend.

This could limit Freeman's options if he does not return to the Braves for a 13th season.   

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