Should the Atlanta Braves regret letting Freddie Freeman go to the Los Angeles Dodgers?
Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman has been exactly what the Dodgers thought they were getting when they signed him to a six-year, $162 million deal this past offseason.
Entering Tuesday, Freeman is hitting .304/.395/.484 with a wRC+ of 148 on the season, or 48 percent better production than league average. He has only hit four home runs but he has 19 doubles and 29 RBI in 48 games.
Freeman hit .305/.399/.547 from 2016 through 2021 for the Atlanta Braves so his power has dropped some but his average and on-base percentage are nearly identical.
For the reigning World Series champion Braves, that kind of offensive production is something that they desperately need right now.
Despite being in second place in the NL East, the Braves are only 23-26 and struggling offensively. They are only hitting .232 as a team with an on-base percentage of .302, both of which are fourth-worst in the National League.
Freeman’s replacement, Matt Olson, has been one of the best bats on the Braves thus far as he is hitting .249/.363/.448. But Freeman has been better to start the season.
The Atlanta Braves should regret letting Freddie Freeman go to the Los Angeles Dodgers
The Atlanta Braves have eased Ronald Acuña Jr. back from his knee injury by DH’ing him some of the time but, if they really wanted to, the Braves could have really used Matt Olson and Freddie Freeman and have one as a DH. It would have been expensive but they would have a lot more offense than they do now.
In fact, even with Acuña Jr. hitting well and playing the outfield about 50 percent of the time, the Braves outfield has been the worst hitting outfield in all of baseball. According to FanGraphs, their outfield has a wRC+ of 73, which is last in baseball. Yes, even the Cincinnati Reds (29th) and Oakland A’s (28th) outfielders have hit better than the Braves outfielders.
Instead, Freeman is having a phenomenal month of May for the Dodgers, hitting .308/.405/.495 in the month and making history. Freeman is the first player ever in Dodgers history to have 15+ doubles and 20+ RBI in a month.
The Atlanta Braves showed that they can have a great second half after a slow start last year but not re-signing Freddie Freeman could be the difference between the Braves being able to defend their World Series title in the playoffs or not.