Atlanta Braves playing dangerous game with Freddie Freeman

Oct 31, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the Houston Astros during the third inning of game five of the 2021 World Series at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 31, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the Houston Astros during the third inning of game five of the 2021 World Series at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports /
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Freddie Freeman wants to return to the Atlanta Braves. He has said as much to his fellow teammates and in the media, making it clear that he has every intention of spending the rest of his career with the only franchise he has been a part of.

But the financial aspect is important. Freeman may be willing to take a bit of a hometown discount, but he is still very aware of his value. The Braves are as well, but may not be willing to commit as many years or dollars as he would want.

Atlanta Braves playing dangerous game with Freddie Freeman

This also means that it is no longer a given that he returns to Atlanta. While the Braves are still the favorites to keep Freeman, there has to be a degree of concern considering that he remains unsigned. Freeman himself has reportedly been frustrated with the process and is getting impatient with the Braves.

Finding hope on a Topps card. light. More Braves

Freeman is certainly going to have options when the lockout ends. The Yankees and Dodgers are both looking for a first baseman. It is entirely possible that either of those teams gives Freeman the contract he has been looking for as they add another piece to anchor their lineup.

This puts all the pressure on the Braves. Yes, there are other options that are available. However, Anthony Rizzo is not Freeman, nor does he have that connection with the franchise and fanbase. Matt Olson would be a strong replacement, but he will cost a great deal in terms of prospect capital.

In the end, Freeman is the Braves’ best option. He deserves to retire having worn just that one uniform, his number eventually retired when his potential Hall of Fame career comes to an end. The idea of his wearing a different uniform just seems strange. But unless the Braves blink, that may happen.

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The Atlanta Braves are playing a dangerous game of chicken with Freddie Freeman. Unless they blink, this is a game they could lose.