Braves Owner Takes a Salty Shot at Freddie Freeman for Joining the Dodgers

Since last offseason, Freddie Freeman saw the writing on the wall regarding his time with the Atlanta Braves. Freeman desired to extend his tenure with the organization that drafted him. However, the team’s reluctance to pay him led to his signing in free agency with the Los Angeles Dodgers on a six-year, $162 million deal.

The five-time All-Star joins a stacked Dodgers team eyeing a strong World Series push. However, Braves owner Terry McGuirk couldn’t help but take a shot at the former league MVP for his handling of the situation.

Freddie Freeman signs with the Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman walks off the field.
Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman walks off the field. | Norm Hall/Getty Images

Although the expectation became that Freeman would leave the Braves, the star first baseman’s move lingered.

Freeman wasted little time deciding his future once the MLB and player union hammered out a new labor agreement. After experiencing contract talks sputtering with the Braves, the 32-year-old chose to play for the Dodgers.

Freeman’s decision ends a 12-year tenure with the Braves, where he became one of the league’s best players and a key part of their 2021 World Series title run. As he embarks on his first campaign with the Dodgers, Braves owner Terry McGuirk took a subtle shot at him.

Braves owner takes a salty shot at Freddie Freeman for joining the Dodgers

Since Freeman’s departure from the Braves, he’s spoken fondly of the organization despite his contract discussion never truly materializing.

The Braves have aired strong mutual respect and admiration, but team owner Terry McGuirk couldn’t help himself from taking a swipe at the star first baseman’s handling of the situation.

“I love Freddie like a son,” McGuirk said via Tim Tucker of The Atlanta Journal-Consitution. “I know him very, very well. It was difficult. I think if we could all turn back the clock and Freddie could maybe take more charge of what happened and not put it in the hands of his representatives.

“We’ve had to close the book on Freddie and start thinking about how we win games this year. But as a memory, he’s going to be very special for us. We’re going to celebrate him when he comes back into town, and we’ll always love him.”

Although McGuirk’s comments are a bit salty, the organization never presented Freeman with a contract offer near what he wanted. The Braves reportedly refused to present him with an extension that pushed north of $140 million.

Atlanta’s reluctance to pay the star first baseman led the contract talks to stall and resulted in him taking a bigger deal with the Dodgers. Meanwhile, the Braves moved to acquire first baseman Matt Olson from the Oakland Athletics without informing the five-time All-Star.

McGuirk may be upset that Freeman didn’t stay, but the team’s unwillingness to pay him is the root reason for his departure. The Braves had every opportunity to smooth out the situation but chose their fate.

Must embrace the next chapter with the Dodgers

Freddie Freeman may wish things transpired differently in Atlanta, but he’s turned the page to the next chapter of his career.

He’s joined a ballclub with strong aspirations to contend for multiple World Series titles. Freeman adds to what may be considered the league’s deepest batting order.

The 32-year-old will have every opportunity to shine as a pivotal piece to the puzzle. The Braves will always hold a special place in his heart, but he’s beyond thrilled to start his next journey in Dodger blue.

“They know how much I care about winning and family,” Freeman said at his press conference last month via Arkansas Online. “If I was going to leave a place I was for 15 years, coming home and being in this organization is probably the best thing that could have happened.”

The former league MVP is surrounded by talent such as Mookie Betts, Max Muncy, Justin Turner, Trea Turner, Cody Bellinger, Will Smith, and Chris Taylor. The Dodgers are all in, and Freeman will be at the forefront of their World Series push.

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