Braves legend criticizes Freddie Freeman over departure
Freddie Freeman’s departure from the Atlanta Braves is going to go down as the most painful of the offseason, probably for both sides. One Braves legend, however, isn’t shedding any tears for the departed first baseman.
Chipper Jones criticized Freeman over how he left the Braves, suggesting that the former first baseman did not seriously want to stay if he let the situation progress the way it did.
“I told Freddie this, but I have no problem telling everybody this, including Freddie: I do not agree with the way that this was handled on Freddie’s side,” Jones told 680 The Fan in Atlanta. “If you want to play in Atlanta, then you play in Atlanta. You maybe take a little less to be happy and play in a place that is comfortable to you. The second that Freddie told me, when he rejected the 5 for $135 (million) after the All-Star break, I told him, ‘You’re playing a very dangerous game. You get courted by all the pretty girls that are on the block, chances are you’re not going to come back. If you take your time waiting on that sixth year, maybe into January, (Braves GM) Alex Anthopoulos has a job to do.'”
Freeman did get his sixth year, but that came from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Both contracts are worth $27 million annually, though California’s tax rates ensure that Freeman will not see quite as much cash as he would have in Atlanta.
The Braves did trade for first baseman Matt Olson before Freeman signed with the Dodgers, which Freeman admitted hurt him. Jones’ point is that if Freeman really wanted to stay, he would have signed with Atlanta by then. Jones believes the Braves were justified in moving on with their offseason business. Freeman may see it differently, but it’s too late to do anything about it now.
Photo: Jun 15, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) hits a RBI single against the Boston Red Sox in the third inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports