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The Atlanta Braves had a backup plan should they lose Freddie Freeman, and that was to trade for Oakland A’s first baseman Matt Olson. That won’t be so easy anymore.
Olson is coveted by plenty of teams, and is expected to be moved once the MLB lockout ends. While the Braves were initially among the favorites to land him — especially should they lose Freeman to another suitor — the list of teams willing to meet Oakland’s demands has only grown in the months since organizations were last able to make such transactions.
Can the Braves still trade for Olson? Sure. Has the price gone up dramatically since before the lockout? That seems likely given the number of teams now in on Olson. Previously, the Yankees and Braves dominated the conversation.
Now, not so much.
Matt Olson rumors: Rangers, Padres and Guardians interest
Olson has plenty of interested parties, so let’s go team by team:
- Braves: Atlanta has pursued Olson as a replacement for Freeman at a cheaper price. He would cost a lot on the trade market, but the Braves have a solid farm system. Olson is also from Georgia, which helps matters.
- Yankees: New York has Luke Voit starting at first base right now. That’s not good enough. Anthony Rizzo is a free agent, and they probably don’t want to afford Freeman on a six-year deal. However, the Yankees also won’t trade away prized prospect Anthony Volpe, which hurts their chances.
- Rangers: Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reported before the lockout that the Rangers were interested in Olson. They’ll likely circle back with a trade offer involving Nathaniel Lowe and some prospects.
- Padres: San Diego would have to trade away Eric Hosmer first, but Dennis Lin of the Athletic believes the Padres are in the mix for Olson. A.J. Preller will have to work some magic.
- Guardians: Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer suggested the Guardians trading for Olson ‘makes sense’, but also acknowledged there isn’t much noise connecting the two sides right now. So, basically, hold tight.
There are surely more teams interested, as the Athletics are a popular trade partner this time of year and are willing to let Matt Chapman go as well.