The Los Angeles Dodgers have made a massive free-agent splash.
Los Angeles reached an agreement with former Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman on a six-year, $162 million deal, according to ESPN's Kiley McDaniel and Jeff Passan.
A second-round draft pick of the Braves in 2007, Freeman has spent his entire career in Atlanta. Across 12 big-league seasons, he's made five All-Star Games, won three Silver Slugger awards and claimed the 2020 National League MVP.
In 2021, Freeman hit .300/.393/.503 with 31 home runs and 83 RBIs while helping the Braves win their fourth consecutive NL East title, despite the team being without superstar Ronald Acuna Jr. for the final two-plus months of the regular season. Then, in the playoffs, Freeman hit .304/.420/.625 with five homers and 11 RBIs as the Braves captured the franchise’s first world championship since 1995.
Rather than paying up to keep Freeman in Atlanta, the Braves instead opted to acquire Matt Olson in a trade with the Oakland A's on Monday. Atlanta also gave Olson, 27, an eight-year, $168 million deal.
According to MLB Network's Jon Heyman, the Braves offered Freeman a five-year, $140 million deal, but the first baseman was seeking a six-year contract. The Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, San Diego Padres, Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays were other teams rumored to be in pursuit of Freeman during the free-agent process.
Now, the 32-year-old Freeman joins the team Atlanta beat in the NLCS en route to its 2021 World Series triumph. This also marks a homecoming for Freeman, who is from Villa Park in Orange County, Calif.
The Dodgers saw Corey Seager depart Los Angeles for the Texas Rangers earlier this offseason, but the addition of Freeman certainly eases that loss. Los Angeles can insert Freeman into a loaded lineup that boasts the likes of Mookie Betts, Trea Turner, Max Muncy, Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger, Chris Taylor and Will Smith.
The Freeman deal isn’t the only big move the Dodgers made since the MLB lockout ended either, as Los Angeles brought back Clayton Kershaw on a one-year, $17 million contract last week. Closer Kenley Jansen is now the Dodgers’ biggest remaining unsigned free agent.