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Freddie Freeman recently signed a six-year, $162 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and his exit from Atlanta has hit plenty fans in the feels. Braves Hall of Famer Chipper Jones is NOT happy it came to this, and he spoke with 680 The Fan to voice his displeasure.
“I told Freddie this, but I have no problem telling everybody this, including Freddie: I do not agree with the way that this was handled on Freddie’s side. If you want to play in Atlanta, then you play in Atlanta. You maybe taking a little less to be happy and play in a place that is comfortable to you. The second that Freddie told me, when he rejected the 5 for $135 million after the All-Star break, I told him, ‘You’re playing a very dangerous game. You get courted by all the pretty girls that are on the block, chances are you’re not going to come back. If you take your time waiting on that sixth year, maybe into January, (Braves GM) Alex Anthopoulos has a job to do.”
Tough criticism to take from one of baseball’s all-time greats and a former Atlanta Brave. This take is a low blow from Chipper and is probably an opinion that should’ve stayed private.
— New York Post Sports (@nypostsports) March 22, 2022
Chipper Jones is exactly correct that Freddie Freeman could’ve stayed in Atlanta if that’s what he wanted. The question is at what cost? At no point did the Hall of Famer mention that Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos could’ve potentially used that to his advantage with a low ball offer. Freddie Freeman played on what most baseball executives called a “team friendly” contract, yet Freeman is again being asked to take less to remain in the ATL.
Why can’t Chipper Jones acknowledge that perhaps the Braves received enough of a discount for Freddie over the years and that it was time for the 2021 World Series champion Braves to pay up? Chipper offered a take he knew would resonate with middle class Atlanta Braves fans that called the newly acquired Dodger a traitor for getting paid what he’s worth. It’s almost difficult for a player to gather sympathy when a team won’t throw in another year to a $30+ million deal.
Asking why Freddie didn’t accept far less money and years to remain with the Braves is like asking a girl not getting her needs met why she stuck around. The answer is simple: sometimes we hold out for the ones we love. Who’s to say Freddie Freeman wouldn’t have returned to the Braves, had the team offered that sixth year? Based on how loyal and impactful Freeman was the past 12 years, we can assume he’d be an Atlanta Brave if they did. Pretending he’s selfish and played unnecessary hardball with an organization is just inappropriate, and more importantly, it’s likely wrong.
Freddie Freeman was an awesome player for the Braves. It’s best everyone just moves on and appreciates what was rather than why it didn’t go another way.