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If the Atlanta Braves lose Freddie Freeman in free agency, they have some big moves to make.
While one would think the Atlanta Braves are the favorites to re-sign 2020 NL MVP Freddie Freeman in the same offseason after winning their first World Series in 26 years, here we are.
Even though the players have been locked out for going on a month now, it is almost unfathomable that Freeman still has not re-signed with the Braves. He, along with Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa, are among the biggest names that have yet to put pen to paper this offseason. Atlanta is the favorite to retain Freeman, but what happens if he does walk?
Here are three moves Atlanta can make that could prevent Braves Country from totally losing it.
Atlanta Braves: 3 moves to make if Freddie Freeman walks in free agency
3. Sign Kris Bryant in free agency, move Austin Riley over to first base
This is not likely to happen, and kind of funny, to be honest. All last offseason, everybody and their brother tried to trade Braves third baseman Austin Riley to the Chicago Cubs for Kris Bryant. Riley had a ton of promise, but had not yet lived up to it. Bryant was a former league MVP playing in a contract year for a Cubs team that had its finger on the red button to blow the whole thing up.
Well, as it turns out, the Cubs did blow the whole thing up. Bryant was traded at the deadline to the San Francisco Giants in a blockbuster. Though he could technically return to the Bay Area, other teams like the Seattle Mariners and the New York Mets seem like more likely destinations for him. But with Freeman leaving the Braves in this scenario, maybe they become the spot to be?
Bryant demonstrated great defensive versatility in Chicago and in San Francisco. He is best known to play third base, but did play a ton in the outfield. While Riley became a great defender at third base, Atlanta could conceivably move him over to first to replace Freeman and have Bryant man the hot corner in his place. There are too many moving pieces, but this possibility is interesting.
Adding a high-priced right-handed bat and seemingly downgrading at two positions defensively are reasons why this potential move is only a pipe dream at best.