Former Braves outfielder Andruw Jones didn’t blame the organization for friction with franchise icon Freddie Freeman. But there’s a good reason why.
Jones was asked about Freeman point-blank, stating how great it would be for the Braves to bring the star first baseman back. However, he wouldn’t go as far as to say its essential, or consider Freeman’s argument.
He instead invoked Chipper Jones, who routinely took a hometown discount to stay in Atlanta.
“Because what happened with Chipper, he kept renewing his contracts, but he was giving (them) that hometown discount. I mean, he was not getting that full money. If Chipper wanted to go somewhere else, he would have got a lot more money than he was making in Atlanta. So it’s all up to, what do you want to do?” Jones said.
Chipper voluntarily taking less money is an anomaly, and not necessarily something for players to aspire to. Freeman wants to get his worth, especially after putting up MVP numbers and leading the Braves to a World Series.
Why didn’t Andruw Jones back Freddie Freeman?
Jones didn’t back Freeman for a simple reason — he has a role in the Braves front office. So, as nice as it would be to have Freeman back, Jones isn’t going to put his own job at risk.
Jones role is that of a special assistant to the front office. What that means is unclear, and your guess is as good as mine, but he has some sort of affiliation. That would put Jones between a rock and a hard place if he were to criticize the team’s approach with Freeman so far in free agency.
“It’s a business. Now I see it more as a front-office guy, but still being a baseball player. I see where they’re coming from, but it’s a business. I hope it works out that (Freeman) ends up coming back, but if he doesn’t, we have to move on and make things happen,” Jones said.
Both sides have the same ultimate goal, but considering they can’t even discuss Freeman’s contract in free agency, there’s an awful lot of frustration.