Atlanta Braves: Now is the perfect time to extend Freddie Freeman

Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

It took a little longer than fans may have liked, and a little nudge from Tampa Bay, but the Atlanta Braves have the band back together again after signing outfielder Marcell Ozuna to a four-year deal last week.

There are still a few more items on the offseason checklist, but now is the perfect time for the Atlanta Braves to lock down Freddie Freeman for the remainder of his career.

Atlanta Braves are in a prime position to lock up Freddie Freeman.

It’s not a matter of if Freddie Freeman will sign a big contract extension to keep him with the Atlanta Braves for the rest of his playing days, but when.

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Landing Marcell Ozuna for a team-friendly price of $65 million over the next few years, combined with the extremely team-friendly deals of superstars Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna Jr. gives Atlanta more than enough financial flexibility to get Freeman’s deal done.

Extending Freeman now also gives Atlanta an absurd amount of roster stability over the next few years.

Going around the diamond, Albies will be in Atlanta through at least 2025, Dansby Swanson still has two more years of arbitration and is coming off a bit of a breakthrough season in 2020, and 23-year-old third baseman Austin Riley is under control for another half a decade, if Atlanta elects to stick with him in the hot corner.

In the outfield, both Acuna and Christian Pace have at least six seasons of control, leaving Atlanta with only the expiring contract of catcher Travis d’Arnaud, assuming a Freddie Freeman extension is signed before the start of the 2021 season.

Few teams across the league can say they are in the same boat as the Atlanta Braves.

Not only do they have the opportunity to lock-in a championship-caliber lineup for years to come, but it also gives the organization an opportunity to replenish a farm system that has been depleted recently, while spending the next few winters narrowing on solidifying the rotation and filling out the fringes of the roster.

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It’s been obvious for many years that Freeman wants to remain in Atlanta for the rest of his career, but why give other teams the opportunity to come sniffing around? The recent signing of Marcell Ozuna sets Atlanta up for continued, stable success over the next few years, and locking down the heart and soul of this team in Freeman would be the icing on the cake for what has been an impressive offseason.