The Atlanta Braves appear to have a contingency plan in place if they lose Freddie Freeman in free agency: trade for Matt Olson with the Oakland Athletics.
While nothing is leaking from the Atlanta Braves’ front office, an MLB insider thinks Atlanta could be content with losing Freddie Freeman in free agency.
MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that while the Braves have been quiet, others think Atlanta would be fine with letting Freeman walk if they can trade for the Oakland Athletics’ Matt Olson. The Los Angeles Dodgers might be able to offer Freeman more money, but Olson grew up in Braves Country. He played for Parkview at Lilburn, the same alma mater as Jeff Francoeur.
Heyman pointed to the Freemans winter in Corona Del Mar in his native Southern California.
He added that while the New York Yankees are still in the game for him, they are a distant third, as geography will play a huge role in that. The Freemans have residences in Atlanta and Orange County.
Atlanta Braves reportedly agree to trade Matt Olson if Freddie Freeman walks
If Freeman teams up with the Dodgers or the Yankees, a lot of Country Braves will be furious. At the end of the day, it’s a business and Freeman needs to get his money’s worth if the Braves can’t give him anything close to fair market value for his services. He might want to stay, but if dollars and cents don’t make sense, then that’s understandable. Freeman will likely sign this weekend.
As for what Olson would bring to the table, he would have to fill Freeman’s massive shoes first. The good news for him is that he’s from the Atlanta metro area. He’s one of (if not the only) few players the Braves could get to first base if Freeman walks. This will help soften the blow of losing the cornerstone of the franchise to a team competing in one of the top two media markets just after winning it all.
Ultimately, this could be the definitive move in Alex Anthopoulos’ run as the Braves’ general manager. He took one big step after another to help Atlanta win its first World Series championship in 26 years. However, if he’s the guy who lets Freeman go and doesn’t respond with a proper counter move, Braves Country would understandably be apoplectic about it.
As Atlanta remains quiet, Braves fans are contemplating how Olson might look at first base.