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Freddie Freeman became a Dodger late Wednesday night.
The 32-year-old free-agent first baseman and the Dodgers agreed to a six-year, $162 million deal, according to multiple reports. The deal was first reported by ESPN.
Freeman, a Southern California native, helped lead the Braves to their World Series title in more than a quarter of a century last season, when he hit .300 with 31 homers and 83 RBIs last season. During his 12 seasons with Atlanta, Freeman hit .295 with 271 homers and 941 RBIs.
The Yankees didn’t make a major push for Freeman during free agency, ultimately deciding to bring back Anthony Rizzo with a two-year, $32 million deal. That deal also likely means Luke Voit’s days in The Bronx are numbered.
The Braves pulled off a blockbuster trade with the Athletics for first baseman Matt Olson, a two-time gold glover, which helped clear the field for the Dodgers to sign Freeman. Atlanta subsequently signed Olson to an eight-year, $168 million deal.
Braves Hall of Fame third baseman Chipper Jones had a feeling Freeman’s future wasn’t going to be in Atlanta.
“I haven’t talked to Freddie in quite some time, but I’m sure he’s probably a little frustrated that this wasn’t done in spring training last year,” Jones said a few weeks ago on 92.9 The Game. “But the fact of the matter is we don’t have any fans in the stands. We’ve got owners that didn’t know where the revenue was going to be at the end of the year and maybe held out a little bit. The bottom line is, Freddie, I believe before it’s all said and done will be playing where he wants to play.”
That turned out to be the Dodgers.
Earlier Wednesday, Freeman thanked the Braves and their fans for his time in Atlanta.
“For the past 15 years I got to be apart of your organization,” Freeman wrote in an Instagram post. “It was truly an honor. We went through the very highs together and some lows but those lows is what made last year so special.
“To Snit [manager Brian Snitker], my coaches, teammates, training staff, clubhouse staff, and everyone who made Turner Field and Truist Park so special for my family and I over the years. … It has been a blast to have you cheer for me and I hope I was able to bring smiles to a lot of your homes over the years.
“Although our time has come to an end, I look forward to seeing and playing in front of you all again. When that time comes, I hope you remember all the wonderful memories we made together. I love you Braves Country! Champions Forever!”