Freddie Freeman is coming home.
Longtime Atlanta Braves first baseman, and Southern California native, Freddie Freeman has reportedly agreed to a six-year, $162 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Freeman was born in nearby Fountain Valley and attended El Modena high school. He signed a letter of intent to play college baseball at Cal State Fullerton, but instead opted for the pros.
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Freeman was taken in the second round of the 2007 MLB Draft by the Atlanta Braves and spent his entire career with the organization until agreeing to join the Dodgers on Wednesday.
Freeman made his Major League debut in 2010, and during his tenure with the Braves was named a five-time All Star, three-time Silver Slugger, a Gold Glove Award winner, and the 2020 National League MVP.
In 2021, he batted .300 with 31 home runs, eight stolen bases and an MLB best 120 runs scored, leading the Braves to their first World Series title since 1995.
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In order to reach the World Series, Freeman and the Braves dispatched of the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series in six games.
Most in the industry expected Freeman to re-sign with the reigning champions in the offseason, but reports indicated the Braves and Freeman were not on the same page when it came to the length of the deal.
Reportedly, Freeman wanted a six-year deal, and the Braves were only willing to go five years. After the lockout ended, the two sides entered talks for a possible deal, they fell apart when the Braves traded for Oakland Athletics first baseman Matt Olson and signed him to an eight-year, $168 million contract extension.
Many teams were interested in Freeman once the Braves had moved on. In addition to the Dodgers, the Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, and San Diego Padres all made offers.
But in the end, the allure of returning to Southern California, where Freeman and his family reside in the offseason was too enticing to pass up.
Earlier on Wednesday, Freeman wrote a heartfelt goodbye message to the City of Atlanta and the Braves organization on his Instagram account.
Freeman is the second big signing since the lockout ended for the Dodgers. The team brought back another MVP and three-time Cy Young Award winner in Clayton Kershaw on a one-year deal last week.
Freeman now provides the Dodgers a left-handed hitting slugger, filling the void left by shortstop Corey Seager who signed with the Texas Rangers before the lockout began. Freeman gives the Dodgers another All-Star lineup with Max Muncy, Trea Turner, Justin Turner, Will Smith, Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts, Chris Taylor, and A.J. Pollock. With the addition of the new universal DH, the Dodgers will easily be able to rotate players in the DH spot of the lineup, providing rest for others.
Jon Morosi of the MLB Network was the first to report the deal was close.