Dodgers to sign Freddie Freeman

The Dodgers are said to be adding another star Freddie Freeman Six-year, $ 162MM contract. The Excel Sports Management Client has identified the sixth warranty year he is looking for and has set himself up to upgrade the already loaded lineup.

Los Angeles finished third as a team in the wRC + last season (excluding pitchers), with their collective .251 / .339 / 4446 score check at 13 points above league average offense. Only the Astros and Giants performed better, while LA merged with the Blue Jazz. They have failed Cory Seeker To free the agency this winter, but with a left-handed, middle-order bat to manager Dave Roberts, Freeman stepped into the vacuum.

Freeman could even argue for an offensive upgrade over Caesar, who is one of the game’s best hitters. Freeman is a great batsman who has not recorded less than 132 wRC + in any season since 2013. That run has earned him five All-Star Awards, three Silver Slacker Awards and six to ten places on the NL MVP poll.

Freeman has been at the top of his game for the past few seasons. He destroyed the opposing pitchers for the 344 / .462 / .640 series in the 60-game season in 2020. Of the qualified hitters, only Juan Choto performed well with the wRC + measurement, and Freeman won a landslide victory in the senior circuit MVP poll that year. It is never unrealistic to expect him to repeat that kind of other world performance in a full schedule, but he will return to his metronomically uniform paths in 2021.

Over the course of the season, Freeman appeared in 159 games and had 695 blade appearances at .300 / .393 / .503 hits. He caught 31 homers, drew 12.2% of the strongest walks on the clip and hit only 15.4% of his trips to the plate. Freeman started the year with a relatively pedestrian start with his high quality, but since June he has warmed up. In the final four months of the season, he racked in the 329 / .404 / .520 clip. That product helped the Braves advance to their fourth straight division title, and Freeman took the spot where he had stopped when the lights were bright. He recorded OPS in all three playoff rounds.996 or higher, helping Atlanta to their first World Series title since 1995.

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With that exit from the championship, many expected Atlanta to sign another contract with the striking Brave soon. Freeman and the club had already lined up for a one-time extension in February 2014 Eight-year contract It guaranteed him $ 135MM and delayed his first trip to the open market for five years. Braves said they were interested in holding Freeman on their lap, but the desire for the first paceman’s sixth year quickly changed. Stumbling block.

Atlanta, which offered Freeman a merit offer at the start of the off-season, is said to have put forward a five-year plan in the $ 135MM range. They are believed to have eventually crushed the $ 140MM guarantee, but the organization opposed putting it on the sixth year schedule. Freeman turns 32 in September, and Braves Brass had a real reservation in guaranteeing significant pay through his 37-year campaign.

Throughout the lockout, the industrial conversation took off that Freeman and Braves were going their separate ways. In Atlanta it became official Put the deal To get the star of A Matt Olson Monday afternoon, then Signed him For a $ 168MM extension the next day. Freeman said goodbye to his former teammates, coaches and Atlanta fans On Instagram This afternoon.

It’s not hard to see Braves allowing Freeman to walk. Olson is over four years old, so his extension only carries him into his age-35 season. There is a real risk in dedicating any player in the late 30s, and it is especially true that to be an elite player you have to constantly beat Freeman at the highest level. He was a solid defensive first paceman but was unlikely to be a perennial gold glove winner in his mid-30s.

Recent six-year contracts for incumbent free agents have not been particularly effective. Each of the last four contracts is more than six years for the first pacemen – eight years for Patress. Eric Hosmer Agreement, bringing back the Oriols Chris Davis On a seven-year contract, Of Prince Fielder Nine-year contract with the Tigers, ten-year investment by the Angels Albert Pujols – Became a misconduct of the club.

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Of course, that does not mean that Freeman’s contract with Los Angeles will end that way. It’s smaller than those precedents, and has a much more consistent record than what Freeman Hossmer or Davis did at the time they signed the contracts. Nothing important in his attack profile. Freeman does not chase many pitches, and he offers many privileges both inside and outside the strike area. He annually posts high exit speeds and difficult contact rates. Like most left-handed batsmen, he is the best against right-handed pitchers. Freeman’s life against Southpaw, however.

Even after Braves left, a handful of teams continued to run for his services. The Red Sox, Blue Jays and Peters have been superficially linked to Freeman in recent days, but the surprising rays may have finally proved to be one of the Dodgers’ strongest challenge. Juan Torrepio of MLB.com Tweets Tampa Bay created a “strong impetus” throughout the process, but LA’s willingness to admit it in the sixth year proved to be a breach of contract.

This is the return of Freeman from Orange County to Southern California. In addition to the financial and geographical appeal, he will enter the ranks of the best in recent memory. It is imaginary that Dodgers will release a start-up series featuring Freeman, Mookie Bets, Tree Turner, Max Munsey, Justin Turner, Will Smith, Chris Taylor, Cody Bellinger And AJ Pollock. Bets, Freeman and Bellinger are every former league MVP. Eight of those nine players have received at least one All-Star selection; A player who has never been to the Midsummer Classic, Smith is the number one catcher in the MLB.

The Dodgers have assembled a similar star-studded pitching staff. Los Angeles crossed all three luxury line layers last season. Occur Approximately $ 33MM fee. They are lined up for another big expense this year.

The exact financial structure of Freeman’s contract is not yet known, but the average annual values ​​of the contracts are used for luxury tax purposes anyway. Jason Martinez estimates that adding $ 27MM to that mark would push the 2022 CBT tape north of $ 277MM. List resource. Since they surpassed CBT last season, Dodgers will be charged a higher fee as a second-time payer. All expenses north of the $ 290MM will be taxed at 30% for every dollar spent between $ 230MM and $ 250MM.

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In addition to the financial cost, the Dodgers will take some non-cash penalties for signing a player who has turned down the opportunity to qualify. Because they paid the luxury tax last year, they will miss the second and fifth highest choices in the upcoming draft and be deducted $ 1MM in place of the internationally signed bonus. The Braves, as a group that does not receive a revenue share or pays luxury taxes, will receive a compensation selection after a competitive draw round B in the upcoming draft. Those choices usually fall in the overall range of 70-75.

That choice may come as a bit of a consolation to Braves fans who are heartbroken by Freeman’s departure, although the organization will have to soften the blow for a hometown star in Olson to replace him. However, while it was clear he would be leaving Atlanta, there were many Braves fans who believed he would be leaving somewhere other than LA.

Freeman advanced from the current World Series winner to join the team that played a key role in his defeat in last year’s NL Championship Series. His departure from the reigning champions in order to sign with the MLB’s top team adds a lot of maneuvering to the fact that it will be a recreational battle for control in the National League.

John Morosi Of MLB.com Dodgers and Freeman initially announced that they were advancing on a $ 150 + MM guarantee. Ken Rosenthal of Athletics The two sides reportedly negotiated a six-year deal in the $ 160MM range. ESPN’s Clay McDonnell and Jeff Passon Freeman and Dodgers signed a six-year, $ 162MM deal.

Image courtesy of USA Today Sports.

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