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After the Atlanta Braves won the 2021 World Series, Freddie Freeman reportedly told Ronald Acuña Jr. he’d run it back to repeat next year with the injured young star.
But is that promise realistic?
Freeman is still favored to sign with the Atlanta Braves, and as I’ve written several times over, if he does not do so, it’ll be considered a massive failure from Alex Anthopoulos and the front office.
However, Freeman has interest from the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees and elsewhere — he’d be a great fit for pretty much every team in baseball. If the Braves don’t act quickly after the MLB lockout — a stagnant time period in which every front office has had time to gather and make a coherent plan for the remainder of free agency — some other franchise will make Freeman their own.
Braves: Freddie Freeman made Ronald Acuña Jr. a promise
When Freeman and Acuña Jr. embraced on the field after the Braves won the World Series, the two reportedly shared the following exchange, per Jeff Passan.
“We did it,” Acuña told him. “We did it.”
“Doing it with you next year,” Freeman said.
It’s this exchange, as well as every but of information coming out of Freeman’s camp, that lead us to believe Freeman intends on re-signing with the Braves.
But what if he doesn’t?
If Freeman doesn’t re-sign in Atlanta, the Braves will first have to replace him at first base. Easy options for that could be Matt Olson via trade with the Oakland Athletics, or signing Anthony Rizzo in free agency. Acuña, already considered the future face of the franchise, would immediately step into the leadership role left behind by Freeman.
Acuña is expected back by next Summer, assuming all goes well with his injury recovery.
So, sure, there’s always a chance Freeman goes back on his word. Heck, he made said promise in the heat of victory.
Surely, Acuña Jr. would understand, as would Braves fans who, despite being heartbroken in the moment, would still love Freeman as the leader of Atlanta’s first World Series champion in 15 years.