Dodgers to sign Freddy Freeman

The Dodgers add another star, and are said to agree to terms Freddy Freeman On a six-year contract worth $162 million. The Excel Sports Management client finds the foolproof sixth year he’s been looking for, setting himself up to boost an already loaded lineup.

Los Angeles finished third as a team in last season’s World Rally Championship+ (excluding bowlers), with their .251/.339/.446 aggregate mark 13 percentage points behind the league’s attacking average. Only the Astros and the Giants fare better, while Los Angeles has been linked with the Blue Jays. they lost Cory Seeger to free the agency this winter, but Freeman steps straight into the void as a left-handed mid-ranking bat for manager Dave Roberts.

One could argue Freeman’s even offensive upgrade on Seager, who is himself one of the game’s top hitters. Freeman has always been an excellent racket, having not posted WRC+ below 132 in any season since 2013. This round has earned him five All-Star nods, three Silver Slugger awards and six NL MVP polls.

Freeman has been on top of his game over the past few seasons. He obliterated opponent shooters to hit the .341 / .462 / .640 streak during a 60-game season in 2020. Among eligible hitters, only Juan Soto A better performer on the WRC+ scale, Freeman took a resounding win in the Senior Circle Player of the Year poll. It was never realistic to expect him to replicate this kind of otherworldly performance during an entire timeline, but he’s back to his economically consistent ways in 2021.

Over the course of the season, Freeman made 159 appearances and scored 695 board appearances from .300/.393/.503 hits. He’s popped 31 house hurdles, drew 12.2% strong walks and only hit 15.4% of his trips to the board. Freeman started the year with a relatively infantry start to his lofty standards, but caught his heat from June onwards. For the final four months of the season, he earned a .329/ .404/ .520 clip. This production helped carry the Braves to their fourth consecutive title, and Freeman picked up where he left off when the lights were brighter. He posted an OPS of .996 or better in all three playoff rounds, helping Atlanta clinch its first World Championship title since 1995.

With that tournament knocked out, many expected Atlanta to strike fast to sign the career-long stalwart on another deal. Freeman and the club had already lined up on the extension once, in February 2014 eight years This secured him $135 million and delayed his first trip to the open market by five years. The Braves confirmed that they were interested in keeping Freeman in the fold, but it soon became the baseman’s first desire for a sixth year. stumbling block.

Atlanta, which made Freeman a qualifying bid early in the season, made a five-year bid in the $135 million range. It is believed that they eventually paid the guarantee of about $140 million, but the organization appeared to be opposed to putting a sixth year on the table. Freeman turned 32 in September, and the Braves brass seem to have real reservations about ensuring his premium paycheck during his 37-year campaign.

During the lockdown, industry chatter has picked up that Freeman and the brave may be heading their separate ways. It was all official when Atlanta make a deal To get an A star. Matt Olson Monday afternoon sign it With an extension of $168 million the next day. Freeman wrote farewell to his former teammates, coaches and fan base in Atlanta on instagram afternoon.

It’s not hard to see the bravery’s reasoning for letting Freeman walk. Olson is more than four years younger than him, so his extension only allows him a season at the age of 35. There is a real risk of commitment to any player in their late thirties, and this is especially true given that Freeman needs to continue to reach a very high level to be an outstanding player. He’s a strong defensive base man but unlikely to be a perennial Golden Glove winner in his mid-30s.

The last decades of more than six years for free agents in this position have not been particularly fruitful. Each of the past four deals that are more than six years old for the first baseline – for eight years for Padres Eric Hosmer Agreement, return the Orioles Chris Davis on a seven-year agreement, Prince Felder Nine-year contract with Tigers, ten-year Angel investment in Albert Pujols – Turns out they were slips for the club.

Of course, that doesn’t mean Freeman’s deal with Los Angeles will end the same way. It’s shorter than those precedents, for example, and Freeman has a more consistent track record than either Hosmer or Davis did by the time they signed their deals. There is nothing fundamental about his offensive profile. Freeman doesn’t chase many stadiums, and he communicates often with shows in and out of the strike zone. It publishes high quality exit speeds and challenging connection rates annually. As with most left-handed hitters, he is best against right-handed pitchers. Nevertheless, Freeman’s .266/.348/.436 career mark against Southpaws proves that he is more than capable of holding on his own without the platoon advantage.

Even after the Braves pulled out, some teams remained involved in running for his services. The Red Sox, Blue Jays and Padres have been superficially linked to Freeman in recent days, but the surprise Rays seem to have proven one of the Dodgers’ toughest competitors in the end. Juan Toribio from Tweets That Tampa Bay had a “boost” throughout the process, but L.A.’s willingness to bow out in year six proved a deal breaker.

It’s a return to Southern California for Freeman, a native of Orange County. In addition to its financial and geographic appeal, it will move to a lineup among the best in recent memory. It is envisaged that the Dodgers will release an opening day lineup consisting of Freeman, Mocky PetsAnd the Tria TurnerAnd the Max MuncieAnd the Justin TurnerAnd the will SmithAnd the Chris TaylorAnd the Cody Bellinger And the AJ Bullock. Bates, Freeman and Bellinger are the former best players in the league. Eight of these nine players earned at least one all-star pick; The only player who has yet to go to the Midsummer Classic, Smith, is among the top catchers in MLB.

The Dodgers family had assembled a similar star-studded monument staff, and building this type of slate required a significant investment in ownership. Los Angeles passed all three luxury tax categories last season, incurred Approximately $33 million in fees. They are in line with another huge expense this year.

The exact financial structure of the Freeman deal is not yet known, but the average annual values ​​of the contracts are used for welfare tax purposes anyway. Adding $27 million to this tag would push the 2022 CBT tab north of $277 million, Jason Martinez estimates. Menu resource. Given that they outlasted CBT last season, the Dodgers will be subject to an escalating fee as a payee for the second time. They will be taxed at a rate of 30% for every dollar spent between $230 million and $250 million, a 42% cut-off on extra lives between $250 million and $270 million, and a 75% rate on extra lives between $270 million and $290 million and 90% tax on all expenses north of $290 million.

In addition to the financial cost, the Dodgers will incur certain non-monetary penalties for signing a player who has declined an eligible offer. Since they paid the luxury tax last year, they will lose their second-highest and fifth-highest picks in the upcoming draft and be stripped of $1 million in the international signing bonus space. The Braves, as a team that did not receive revenue sharing and did not pay luxury tax, will receive a compensatory selection after the second round of competitive credit in the upcoming draft. These selections usually fall into the 70-75 total range.

The choice would be little consolation for Braves fans frustrated by Freeman’s departure, though the organization’s replacement by their hometown star Olson should soften the blow. Even when it became clear that he was leaving Atlanta, many of Reeves’ fans were likely hoping he would end up somewhere other than Los Angeles.

Freeman goes from the World Championship winner to the team that was instrumental in their defeat in the NL Championship Series last year. His departure from the defending champions to score with what appears to be the best team in MLB adds plenty of intrigue to what will be an entertaining battle for supremacy in the National League.

John Morosi From She first reported that Dodgers and Freeman were making progress on a deal that would secure $150+ million. Ken Rosenthal athlete She reported that the two sides were discussing a six-year deal in the $160 million range. ESPN’s Kelly McDaniel and Jeff Bassan She reported that Freeman and Dodgers had agreed to a six-year contract worth $162 million.

Image courtesy of USA Today Sports.

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