Braves GM on Freeman: ‘Our goal is to sign him and keep him as Bravo’

Braves GM on Freeman: 'Our goal is to sign him and keep him as Bravo'

The Atlanta Braves have extended a qualification offer to star first baseman Freddie Freeman, but general manager Alex Anthopoulos said the goal of the reigning World Series champs is to “keep him like a Bravo.”

Freeman, who has spent his entire professional career in the Braves organization, officially became a free agent Sunday after Atlanta’s exclusive trading window expired.

The Braves extended Freeman’s one-year qualifying offer for $ 18.4 million later Sunday, which Anthopoulos said was part of the “process.”

“Look, he’s a free agent. As a rule, I obviously can’t say much other than what I’ve said in the past,” Anthopoulos told reporters. “We love him, he’s great, we want him to stay, he wants to stay.

“How the process unfolds and goes from there … I can’t really go into details. But very similar to what I said in the past, our goal is to sign him and keep him as Bravo.”

The 32-year-old Freeman has also stressed that he wants to stay in Atlanta, saying last week that “everyone knows where my heart is.” The five-time All-Star overcame a slow start to the season to hit .300 with 31 homers, 83 RBIs and 120 runs scored, leading the National League. He also hit .304 with five home runs in the postseason when the Braves won their first World Series since 1995.

Anthopoulos said Sunday that the Braves planned to increase their payroll in 2022, but did not explain how that would affect contract negotiations with Freeman. The Braves have 13 arbitration-eligible players on their roster and some high-profile free agents, including World Series MVP Jorge Soler and National League Championship Series MVP Eddie Rosario.

Freeman, the 2020 National League MVP, is a .295 hitter with 271 home runs in parts of 12 seasons, all with the Braves.

“He’s a Hall of Famer,” Anthopoulos said. “I don’t know what his career stats are at this point, but in my opinion, he will be a Hall of Famer. He will be one of the best Braves he has ever played. He won an MVP, he won a World Series – he has. done everything.

“We have been very clear, we want him to stay and he wants to stay. But we have seen other examples of players who have gone through this. Sometimes it just takes time and there is a process that takes place. I love that all these things are do before, but sometimes it doesn’t work that way. “

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