Freddie Freeman used Braves connection to recruit Jason Heyward to Dodgers

Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves, Jason Heyward, Chicago Cubs. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves, Jason Heyward, Chicago Cubs. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Two former Atlanta Braves, Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward, will team up with the Los Angeles Dodgers this season.

Freddie Freeman signed with LA last offseason, taking his talents to the west coast in a tearful goodbye from the only organization he’d ever known.

However, in the months after he received his World Series ring, Freeman bought into the Dodgers culture and is now here to stay.  This winter, Freeman even did some recruiting to bring his former Atlanta teammate to LA. And no, we’re not talking about shortstop Dansby Swanson, who eventually signed with the Cubs.

It was Jason Heyward, who played with Atlanta from 2010-14.

“When I talked to Jason in the last couple months of the season, I went straight to Andrew Friedman and Brandon Gomes, and was like, ‘Hey guys, it’s a perfect fit. He’s a wonderful human, there’s a lot left in there,’” Freeman recalled. “I stayed on them for a little bit. As the offseason went on, I talked to Jason pretty much every day, and things just kind of fell into place.”

Dodgers: Freddie Freeman has some Braves familiarity in LA

It was tough to say goodbye to Atlanta for Freeman, but at the very least he now has his former teammate to help him accommodate long-term. Heyward is used to such adjustments, considering he’s played for the Braves, Cardinals, Cubs and now LA.

“I got my friend back and I’ve just been telling him how wonderful the Dodgers have been for me. He’s really excited. He’s already worked out at Dodger Stadium, he’s been at my house this week, he’s going up to L.A. and Pasadena to work with Robert Van Scoyoc and Aaron Bates, running with Travis Smith, our strength guy,” Freeman said. “He’s going to be in L.A. the next two weeks, spending time with them, and he’s really excited to be a Dodger.”

For Heyward, it’s a win-win. He gets to contribute to a winning culture in Los Angeles, and play with Freeman once again.

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