Braves ‘rattled’ about Freddie Freeman, arbitration won’t help

The Atlanta Braves clubhouse was “shaken” after the loss of Freddie Freeman, and things could get busier with the upcoming arbitration.

The Braves took a calculated risk this offseason, giving longtime first baseman Freddie Freeman a free hand while trading for his replacement in the A’s Matt Olson.

On the one hand, in Freeman’s position, they got younger and a little cheaper. On the other hand, they didn’t seem to put much effort into retaining a veteran franchise legend who just helped them win a World Series.

Even losing Freeman’s influence in the clubhouse could have a big impact.

Braves were ‘shattered’ to lose Freddie Freeman

GM Alex Anthopoulos admitted as much on The Athletic’s Starkville podcast, describing the clubhouse as “shattered” following Freeman’s departure.

However, Ken Rosenthal has some questions about how the domino effects could sow discontent in Atlanta.

After all, the World Series champions have five players headed for arbitration this year. The entire league has only 31 scheduled.

For players like Max Fried, hero of Game 6 of the World Series, that means holding an arbitration hearing to dispute a difference of just $250,000. Austin Riley is also due for arbitration over this amount.

Considering these two players were part of a World Series run, the fact that Atlanta is willing to arbitrate that amount could send the wrong message. The Braves risk a reputation for not being interested in rewarding players who brought them to the promised land.

After all, they gave Olson the biggest contract in franchise history instead of giving him to a player that has given them more than a decade of service and a championship.

As Rosenthal wrote, “The internal dynamics of the Braves need to be monitored … it cannot be ruled out that the deal will provoke resentment from certain players.” Braves ‘rattled’ about Freddie Freeman, arbitration won’t help

John Verrall

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