The Atlanta Braves have made the best financial decision in as long as some can remember. Freddie Freeman has reportedly signed with the team for a total of eight years and around $125 million.
Not only did the Braves just sign an MVP candidate from 2013, they signed him for eight more years. One of the more impressive parts to the signing is that Freeman is only 24-years old. That would make him a very ripe 32 years of age when the team will have to decide if they want to keep him around for any longer.
The reason why this is a smart decision is the fact that the team just locked up a cornerstone player just a year after losing franchise star Chipper Jones. Freeman has hit for an average of .285 in three full seasons with the team while hitting 68 home runs and 280 RBIs. With that, he finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting in 2011 and was named to the All-star team in 2013, as well as finishing fifth in the MVP voting.
The real question is, who is the signing better for, the Braves or Freeman? It’s a question that isn’t easily answered, but we can see that the team was smart to lock up him up to a long-term contract before his price tag really skyrocketed in 2014 or 2015. It hasn’t been made clear yet, but Freeman would make around $15.6 million a year if the contract was spread out evenly. That makes Freeman the highest-paid Braves player, over B.J. Upton.
The Braves may have saved $2-3 million per year by signing Freeman now and not in 2015, but what else did they save? Well, it is simple. The team really saved face by not making things personal with Freeman and trying to lowball him in arbitration. They got to show him that the team is fully committed to him and are ready to build a team around him.
More importantly, Freeman can now let his roots dig into the Atlanta soil and be confident that he is taken care of for years to come.