We've recently been taking looks at each of these top four, their top suitors … and ranking ‘em. There are plenty of teams who want the top-tier options, the platinum plan, the Glengarry leads. But who’s most likely to sign them? That’s the goal of the Free Agency Power Rankings: To give you our best guess.
Today, we hit Freeman. It has been a rather fantastic couple of years for Freeman! He won the NL MVP Award in 2020, and then won a World Series (and hit a downright monster of a home run in his last at-bat of the season) in 2021. That’s a pretty good run through the baseball jungle. He also has been a part of what the Braves have built over the last decade. You can’t let that guy go, can you? You wouldn’t think so. But you also would have thought the Braves would have taken care of this by now, and they haven’t.
For now, though, let’s make some Freeman predictions.
There’s no reason to overcomplicate this. It’s nearly impossible to imagine Freeman in another uniform, so when in doubt (or even if you’re not in doubt), assume he will stay. Atlanta and Freeman are going to figure this out. Right?
The Yankees are the looming tower in this situation, a team that sure could use a left-handed-hitting first baseman -- you saw how Anthony Rizzo fit there, and, no offense to Rizzo, he's no Freeman at this point -- and a team that, if it gets the opportunity, will happily spend for one. Freeman could extend his career an extra couple of years with that short porch in right, and he even sort of looks like a Yankee, though he might have to shave a little more often. The longer this takes, the more the Braves risk the Yankees jumping into this with both feet. And they don’t want that.
3) Red Sox
Boston got Kyle Schwarber in a fashion not dissimilar to how New York got Rizzo. Schwarber is a free agent now, and if the Red Sox wanted a perfect lineup linchpin for this next run of contention, Freeman would be it. But it’s tough to imagine the Red Sox being so aggressive that they’d outbid everyone above them.
Max Muncy would seem to have this spot filled, but we’ve seen him move to second base when needed, and he’s actually a little better there than you might think. But signing Freeman feels particularly like overkill.
This is a little trickier now that Brandon Belt has accepted San Francisco's qualifying offer, but that is only a one-year deal, and the DH could still be coming to the NL as part of the next collective bargaining agreement. The Giants have an obvious track record for getting the best out of veteran players, and it’s pretty exciting to imagine what more you could get out of Freeman. You don’t actually have to squint very hard to imagine this working magnificently, actually.
They have Jared Walsh already, and the DH spot is full thanks to Shohei Ohtani, but the Angels are sort of in caged-animal mode, in a competitive aspect, so you can imagine them being in on just about everyone. And while he may seem like an Atlanta guy through and through after playing there for so long, Freeman is from Orange County (Villa Park, Calif., to be exact), making the Angels his actual hometown team.
You have to admit, this would be hilarious.