Freeman shares feelings on Braves acquiring Olson

March 18th, 2022

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Freddie Freeman was going through his daily workout when he heard news that would change the remainder of his career.

The Braves, the organization he was a part of for 15 years, had just completed a trade with the A’s to send All-Star first baseman Matt Olson to Atlanta. A day later, the Braves announced an eight-year extension with Olson.

Freeman said he was “blindsided” by Atlanta's move to acquire another first baseman, effectively ending his tenure with the organization.

“The emotions were all over the place to be honest,” Freeman said. “I had no idea that was going to happen. I was all over the place. I didn’t really speak for a couple of hours. I was just trying to figure it all out.”

As early as the start of last season, Freeman said he knew he would be a first-time free agent this winter. He said the Braves didn’t engage in contract negotiations with him at any point last offseason or Spring Training, and mentioned that the last offer from the Braves came during last year’s Trade Deadline. He and his representation countered with an offer. They never heard back.

This winter, Freeman said he got two phone calls from the Braves: One before the lockout began on Dec. 2 and one check-in call following the lockout.

“I didn’t think I’d ever get to free agency if we’re being honest about it,” Freeman said. “I think I’ve been pretty honest throughout the whole 2021 season when I was a Brave and prior to that I thought I was going to spend my whole career there. I think my family and I, it was a whirlwind of a process, especially when the lockout lifted that things move fast in a whole bunch of different ways that we weren’t really expecting, I think we can all say that as the truth.”

Following the trade to acquire Olson, Braves president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos met with the media and explained that the decision to move from Freeman was a difficult one. At one point during the press conference, Anthopoulos appeared to shed some tears.

What was Freeman’s reaction?

“I saw them,” Freeman said. “That’s all I’ll say.”

Once the Braves moved on to Olson, Freeman said that’s when his free agency process began to pick up steam. Most teams involved realized that his days with the Braves were over. He had close to a handful of offers from teams. Ultimately, his decision came down to coming back to Southern California, allowing his father, grandfather and the rest of his family the opportunity to attend every game at Dodger Stadium.

After a long time of little communication, Freeman’s time with the Braves officially came to an end. It wasn’t the result anybody in the business – especially Freeman – expected. Now his focus shifts to the start of his Dodgers career.

“The emotions have gone all over the place,” Freeman reiterated. “But a couple days later we started talking and the excitement creeped in, the excitement to be able to come home. We wanted to come home when that door got closed.”