Braves have clear benchmark in Freddie Freeman extension talks

Atlanta Braves, MLB Spring Training

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The Atlanta Braves have a number in mind when it comes to extending their superstar first baseman Freddie Freeman.

Unless the Atlanta Braves are willing to cough up some cash, reigning NL MVP Freddie Freeman is slated to hit free agency next winter. Freeman has spent his entire MLB career since being drafted by the Braves out of high school in 2007. They cannot afford to lose him.

The expectation is that the Braves will need to pay Freeman around what Paul Goldschmidt got from the St. Louis Cardinals (five years, $130 million) and what Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo will command on the open market. While baseball is a business, can you imagine how hot Braves Country would be if Atlanta let Freeman walk two seasons after winning NL MVP?

Freddie Freeman should never play for any MLB team besides the Braves

Atlanta has its championship-window open. That means the Braves need to take advantage of their best roster since the “Team of the ’90s” era. Atlanta is coming off its first two postseason victories since 2001. While the Braves are not favored to come out of the National League this year, they are one of a handful of teams who can win the pennant. They are ready to win now.

As for Freeman, he would probably love to only play for one franchise, much like his mentor Chipper Jones did a generation before him. While it will cost the Braves a pretty penny to keep the reigning NL MVP in Atlanta uniform, what other option do they have? Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos needs to get Freeman to put pen to paper before the regular season begins.

Freeman is worth being paid Goldschmidt money and in the ballpark of what Rizzo will make, too.

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