Freddie Freeman reportedly turns down first offer from Atlanta Braves

Do not panic Atlanta Braves fans. Freddie Freeman is still expected to return to the only franchise he has ever known.

That does not mean that negotiations are going to be perfect and Freeman will just sign on the dotted line. According to Bob Nightengale, he rejected the Braves’ first offer for an extension as his sights are set much higher.

Atlanta Braves, Freddie Freeman still far apart

There is a major gap between the offers. Based on Nightengale’s report, the Braves offered Freeman a five year extension worth $135 million. Freeman, meanwhile, is reportedly looking for a six year deal worth $200 million. What’s $65 million over a one year span amongst friends?

It is understandable as to why Freeman would be pursuing such a large contract. The 2020 NL MVP posted a .300/.393/.503 batting line in his 695 plate appearances, hitting 31 homers and 25 doubles. He was selected to his fifth All Star Game and won his third consecutive Silver Slugger award while helping lead the Braves to their first championship since 1995.

Likewise, it makes sense as to why the Braves would want to keep him around. He is a franchise icon, a player who may eventually find himself in Cooperstown with a Braves hat on his plaque. He is also one of the leaders on the team, someone who bridges the gap between Bobby Cox and the present day.

Both sides clearly value their relationship. Even though there is a large gap between what the Braves have offered and Freeman’s current asking price, one has to imagine the two sides will continue to talk. That gap will narrow, the Braves may add on that sixth year, and a deal can be struck. The first extension offer being declined does not mean anything.

There is a gulf between the Atlanta Braves offer and Freddie Freeman’s demands. However, that does not mean he is going anywhere.