The Atlanta Braves have plenty to be worried about in the Freddie Freeman chase, especially because there’s nothing they can do at the moment.
Freeman remains a free agent thanks to the lockout, which prevents teams like the Braves from consulting with players. The top first baseman on the open market — and one of the best players in all of baseball — Freeman is sure to demand a lucrative contract when he is allowed to sign.
The most recent rumors suggest Freeman wants a contract of six years in length for around $180 million. The Braves thus far have been willing to go to five years at that AAV and potentially more, but aren’t thrilled about a plausible sixth year.
Unfortunately for Atlanta, the longer the lockout goes, the greater their competition. The Yankees are reportedly trending for Freeman as well.
MLB rumors: Could Yankees steal Freddie Freeman from Braves?
Per ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez, the Yankees could be preparing a pitch for Freeman after the lockout.
“The Yankees reportedly seek a much cheaper stopgap at shortstop who can hold the down position until either Anthony Volpe or Oswald Peraza are ready to take over. Freeman helps to justify that. His signing would put the Yankees’ payroll at a whopping $240 million-plus in 2022, approaching New York Mets territory. But a lot of players are scheduled to come off the books next offseason, including Joey Gallo, Aroldis Chapman, Zack Britton, Luis Severino, Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge, the latter of whom they would likely want to lock up with an extension. Judge or not, the Yankees can certainly make a Freeman signing work within their budget.”
The Yankees are unlikely to land Correa, as his recent hire of Scott Boras as agent likely puts him out of New York’s price range. The Yankees would prefer to spend less than $200 million on a free agent this offseason, while Correa wants 10 years, $330 million at least.
Freeman would make under that $200 million threshold.
While the Braves are still favored to land Freeman, and for good reason, the Yankees are gaining ground the longer this goes.
Perhaps by the time the lockout ends, they’ll convince themselves to make an offer. Or, ya know, this is just more posturing by the Steinbrenners.