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Monday, December 13, 2021

Freddie Freeman hoping to postpone his free agency

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ATLANTA — Freddie Freeman is ready to become Freddie Free-man, but that doesn’t mean he can envision himself playing for a team other than the Braves.

The All-Star first baseman, among the jewels of the upcoming free-agent class, reaffirmed his commitment Friday to the only organization he has played for in his career, but said he was aware his tenure could be ending soon.

“I was talking to my agent [Thursday] actually, and it kind of came up that this is three more games here,” Freeman said before the Braves faced the Astros in Game 3 of the World Series at Truist Park. “I haven’t envisioned playing anywhere else because I haven’t gotten to that point yet.

“I’ve put on this uniform — since 2007 I got to put on a Braves uniform with the Gulf Coast League team. It’s all I’ve ever known. But it is a little weird that by next Sunday, Monday, I could be a free agent, which is very, very weird to me. It hasn’t hit me because I’m trying to put that off because of a little bit more important things at task right now.”

Freeman was then asked if there is something to be said for playing his entire career for one team.

“I think everyone in this room knows I want to stay here,” Freeman said.

Freddie Freeman #5 of the Atlanta Braves grounds out
Freddie Freeman
Getty Images

As the face of the Braves franchise for the past decade, the idea of Freeman in another uniform certainly seems difficult to fathom, especially coming off a year in which Atlanta has, at minimum, reached the World Series. The 32-year-old Freeman is completing an eight-year contract worth $135 million he received before the 2014 season. His next deal figures to pay him significantly more, in terms of average annual salary. Among the teams that could entice him are the Yankees and Dodgers.

Last year’s MVP had another formidable season, posting a .300/.393/.503 slash line with 31 homers in 83 RBIs in helping the Braves win the NL East for a fourth straight year.

For now, Freeman is enjoying his first trip to the World Series and trying to bring Atlanta a first title since 1995. On Friday, the Braves were playing their first World Series home game since 1999.

“It’s everything you can ask for,” Freeman said. “Win or lose, fail, go 0-for-30 with 30 strikeouts, you’re still playing in the World Series, and that’s pretty cool. Game 1, I got the jitters finally about when I was running out on the line, but once the game started, it kind of went away. It was just another game.”

The Braves entered the postseason with 88 victories — the fewest of any participant this year — but handled the Brewers in four games in the NLDS. The Braves then upset the 106-win Dodgers in the NLCS.

Freeman homered twice in the NLCS after a slow start to the series. He was 2-for-7 in the World Series with two RBIs as play began Friday.

“I have been here a long time, that means I’m getting old,” Freeman said. “We’ve been in the playoffs the last four years, so everyone knows what the feeling is like. We’ve got two games under our belt, but the first one at home, you’re still going to get those jitters. Game 2, they weren’t the same as Game 1. … A lot of us have a good head on our shoulders, and we know what we need to accomplish to get this thing done.”

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