Freddie Freeman becomes new face of Braves franchise with new contractPublished 9:46pm Tuesday, February 11, 2014
I commend general manager Frank Wren and the Atlanta Braves for taking the initiative to sign first baseman Freddie Freeman to a long term contract.
While I understand that professional sports salaries are often considered exorbitant, if anyone deserves a long-term, big money contract it is Freeman, who was named to the National League All-Star team last season.
He is just 24-years-old and he has played just three seasons with the Braves. His numbers last season were outstanding.
He hit .319 with 23 home runs and 109 runs batted in.
He matched his career high in home runs, set highs in batting average and runs batted in and was fifth in the National League most valuable player voting. He has topped 20 home runs in three straight seasons.
The Braves rewarded Freeman with an eight-year contract for $135 million, the biggest contract in Atlanta Braves history. It covers three arbitration eligible seasons and five years in which he could have become a free agent.
The deal tops the $90 million six-year contract that retired Braves third baseman and future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones had from 2001 to 2006 and comes one year after the braves gave outfielder B.J. Upton a five-year $75.25 million contract, the biggest free agent contract in team history.
Freeman told Associated Press reporter Charles Odum that he is going to go out there and just keep trying to get better.
“I progressively got better the last three years,” he said to Odum. “Hopefully, I can stay healthy and continue to do so. I’m not going to try to put extra pressure, just go out there and keep doing what I’ve been doing.”
Freeman’s signing is the second biggest Braves off-season story.
The first came when former Braves Bobby Cox and two of his former star pitchers right-hander Greg Maddox and left-hander Tom Glavine, were elected to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.