– The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand
Monday, January 24, 2022
When – or whether – the Braves will re-sign Freddie Freeman has been one of the most pressing issues on the minds of the Atlanta fan base for the better part of a year, but the 2020 NL MVP entered the current MLB lockout as a free agent with no real indication of progress toward a return to Truist Park on the horizon. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal writes this morning that there’s obvious incentive for either Freeman or the Braves to act quickly, one way or another, once the lockout finally ends. Most notably, Rosenthal reports that the Braves indeed spoke to the A’s about a potential Matt Olson deal prior to the lockout (as had been previously suggested), adding that the talks should not be written off as simple due diligence.
An early strike by the Braves to acquire Olson would register as nothing short of a stunner. The longstanding belief has been that despite the ostensible lack of traction in talks, Freeman will eventually reach a deal to return to the same team for which he played the first dozen seasons of a potential Hall-of-Fame career. It’s been even more widely expected that the A’s will trade Olson, particularly in the wake of comments from GM David Forst that the team will listen to offers on all of its top players (in preparation for a payroll reduction). However, Freeman’s legacy in Atlanta has made the Braves feel like a long shot, at best.
The 27-year-old Olson (28 in March) has been most prominently linked to the Yankees thus far in the offseason, though a good portion of the ink dedicated to that fit has been speculative in nature. The Rangers are among the other clubs to have been tied to Olson on the heels of a career year in Oakland.
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