The Atlanta Braves seem to have a contingency plan in place if they lose Freddie Freeman in free agency: Trade for Matt Olson with the Oakland Athletics.
Jon Heyman of the MLB Network reports that while the Braves have gone quiet, others think Atlanta would be fine in letting Freeman walk if they can trade for Matt Olson of the Oakland Athletics. The Los Angeles Dodgers might be able to offer Freeman more money, but Olson grew up in Braves Country. He played for Parkview in Lilburn, the same alma mater as Jeff Francoeur.
Heyman pointed out the Freemans winter in Corona Del Mar in his native Southern California.
He added that while the New York Yankees are still in the mix for him, they are a distant third, as geography will play a massive part in this. The Freemans have residences in Atlanta and Orange County.
Atlanta Braves would be okay trading for Matt Olson if Freddie Freeman walks
If Freeman linked up with either the Dodgers or the Yankees, a lot of Braves Country will be furious. Ultimately, this is a business and Freeman has to go get his money if the Braves cannot give him anything close to fair market value for his services. He may want to stay, but if the dollars and cents do not make sense, then that is understandable. Freeman is likely signing this weekend.
As far as what Olson would bring to the table, he would have to fill Freeman’s massive shoes at first. The good news for him is he is from Metro Atlanta. He is one of (if not the only) a few players the Braves could get to man first base if Freeman walks. It will help ease the blow of losing the franchise cornerstone to a contending team in a top-two media market right after winning it all.
Ultimately, this could be the definitive move of Alex Anthopoulos’ run as the Braves general manager. He made one great move after another to help Atlanta win its first World Series championship in 26 years. However, if he is the guy that lets Freeman leave and does not respond with an appropriate countermove, Braves Country would be understandably apoplectic over it.
As Atlanta stays quiet, Braves fans are contemplating how Olson could look over at first base.