Atlanta Braves fans cheered on general manager Alex Anthopoulos despite the fact Freddie Freeman is nowhere to be found.
And to be fair, Anthopoulos has earned the praise. Despite losing Freeman to the Dodgers and Jorge Soler to the Miami Marlins, the Braves have added a dominant bullpen to their arsenal and replaced the aforementioned face of the franchise on the fly.
Anthopoulos took some heat in the immediate aftermath of trading for Matt Olson, and rightly so considering he dealt half the farm system. But given Freeman never really gave the Braves much of a chance to re-sign him based on various reports — or an hour, depending on who you believe — Anthopoulos did what he felt was a necessity.
Olson is from Atlanta, and he’s the crown jewel of the Braves offseason. That, and signing a shutdown closer in Kenley Jansen to get back at the Dodgers, makes for an overall success story despite Freeman now playing in Los Angeles.
Braves fans welcome Alex Anthopoulos with open arms
Olson is an Atlanta kid, so he’s the perfect choice to replace Freeman — who won an NL MVP just over a year ago and led the Braves back to the baseball mountaintop.
Even if Olson doesn’t fulfill those kinds of expectations, the Braves can still be a better team without Freeman in play.
Braves fans seem to understand this in full.
Freeman claims the communication on the Braves’ part was flawed, but this is turning more into a he said, he said by the day.
“The communication wasn’t all there in the offseason. I got two phone calls all offseason. I got more from Andrew to my agents in a matter of a couple of hours,” Freeman said. “I didn’t know what was going on.”
Either way, the end result remains the same. Freddie Freeman is a Dodger, and for now, Braves fans seem fine with that.