ATLANTA — Freddie Freeman has been presented a qualifying offer by the Atlanta Braves.
The Peach State's 2018 Golden Glove winner can officially join the likes of future Hall-of-Famer Max Scherzer and 2021 World Series MVP teammate Jorge Soler by entering the free-agent market. How much other teams are willing to pay for the Atlanta Braves first baseman has yet to be seen but Atlanta is already making their price tag clear.
The 2020 NL MVP cracked home run in Game 6 of the 2021 World Series against the Houston Astros, putting exclamatory punctuation on his $135 million eight-year contract.
During Atlanta's post-parade celebration for the Atlanta Braves' World Series win, shortstop Dansby Swanson and catcher Travis d’Arnaud bellowed out "re-sign Freddie" to a packed Truist Park stadium. Freeman's teammates were met with a rowdy ovation. Now the Atlanta Braves have gotten the proverbial ball rolling on Freeman's future in Major League Baseball.
Georgia's 2021 World Series team extended a qualifying offer to Freddie Freeman before Sunday's deadline. The offer is for a one-year $18.4 million contract. Considering that the first baseman earned a whopping $22 million base salary last year alone, the offer is quite modest. The intention of the offer, however, was not necessarily to sway Freeman to sign.
The offer guarantees draft pick compensation for the Atlanta Braves if the 2020 NL MVP decides to sign with another team when he enters the free-agent market. With Atlanta's window of exclusivity coming to a close, other teams can now start preparing their offers. For Atlanta Braves fans, there is good news.
Freddie Freeman, who has been with the Atlanta Braves since being plucked from high school in the 2007 MLB draft, wants to stay with the 2021 World Series champion team.
"Do you wanna be here the rest of your career?" Frank Thomas asked Freddie Freeman during a Game 6 postgame interview.
"Everyone knows that answer," Freeman said. "Did I think I was gonna be sitting here with no contract after this? No, but everyone knows this is a crazy game, crazy business, but everyone knows where my heart is, and it's the Atlanta Braves. I've been here since I was 17 years old - almost half my life I've been in this organization - so I think everyone knows how my heart is... it means everything to put on that Braves uniform every day, so hopefully, I can continue to do that."