The lockout may have been the best thing to keep Freddie Freeman in Atlanta
This is the only move that matters. The Braves’ offseason plans will be judged on this move, and this move alone. Will they get Freddie Freeman under contract or not? If they let him walk, Liberty Media should be forced to sell the team and Anthopoulos should resign. There are no excuses left. Freeman is the face of the Braves and has earned whatever Kobe Bryant-level contract he wants.
Sure, there is a nice potential consolation prize out there in possibly making a trade with the rebuilding Oakland Athletics to get Lilburn, Georgia native and former Parkview star Matt Olson. However, that is just not fair to a guy who grew up in Braves Country, probably idolizing Freeman, or at the very least, Parkview legend, turned Braves outfielder, now broadcaster Jeff Francoeur.
While Braves Country remains in a state of panic over Freeman’s free agency, the lockout was the best thing to happen for him to return to Atlanta. What this did was force other teams who could be in the market to sign him to panic-buy players before getting locked out. Odds are, Freeman will wait until some of his Atlanta teammates get their deals done before he finally puts pen to paper.
The smartest pathway for Freeman to have a plaque in Cooperstown is to only play for the Braves.