Dodgers to sign Freddy Freeman

Dodgers to sign Freddy Freeman

11:08 pm: The Dodgers and Freeman agree to a six-year, $162 million agreement, ESPN’s Kelly McDaniel and Jeff Bassan report (Twitter link).

10:23 pm: If completed, the six-year deal is expected to be in the $160 million range, Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports (on Twitter).

10:17 pm: Morosi now pass The deal could exceed $150 million.

10:09 pm: The parties are “in deep talks” on a deal that would guarantee about $150 million, Morosi Add.

10:03 pm: Dodgers and Freddy Freeman They are making progress on the contract, reports’s Jon Morosi (Twitter link). It looks like LA has been the favorite to win the 2020 NL MVP in recent days with the Braves out of the race.

Had an agreement been reached to cross the finish line, Freeman would only add to the Dodgers’ lineup that was already loaded. Los Angeles finished third as a team in last season’s World Rally Championship+ (excluding bowlers), with their .251/.339/.446 aggregate mark 13 percentage points behind the league’s attacking average. Only the Astros and the Giants fare better, while Los Angeles has been linked with the Blue Jays. they lost Cory Seeger to free the agency this winter, but Freeman will step right into his void as a left-handed mid-ranking bat for manager Dave Roberts.

One could argue Freeman’s even offensive upgrade on Seager, who is himself one of the game’s top hitters. Freeman has always been an excellent racket, having not posted WRC+ below 132 in any season since 2013. This round has earned him five All-Star nods, three Silver Slugger Awards and a six-top ten finish on the NL MVP ballot.

Freeman has been on top of his game over the past few seasons. He obliterated opponent shooters to hit the .341 / .462 / .640 streak during a 60-game season in 2020. Among eligible hitters, only Juan Soto A better performer on the WRC+ scale, Freeman took a resounding win in the Senior Circle Player of the Year poll. It was never realistic to expect him to repeat this kind of other performance over the course of an entire schedule, but Freeman is back to his economically consistent ways in 2021.

Over the course of the season, he made 159 appearances and scored 695 board appearances from .300/.393/.503 hits. Freeman stood out from 31 reptiles, drew 12.2% vigorous walking segments and only succeeded in 15.4% of his flights. The year got off to a relatively infantile start to his lofty standards, but he picked up his heat from June onwards. For the final four months of the season, he earned a .329/ .404/520 clip. This production helped carry the Braves to their fourth consecutive title, and Freeman picked up where he left off when the lights were brighter. He posted an OPS of .996 or better in all three playoff rounds, helping Atlanta clinch its first World Championship title since 1995.

With that tournament knocked out, many speculated that Atlanta would try to strike quickly to sign the career-long stuntman on another deal. Freeman and the club had already lined up on the extension once, in February 2014 eight years This secured him $135 million and delayed his first trip to the open market by five years. The Braves maintained their interest in keeping Freeman in the fold, but soon the first baseman’s desire for a sixth season was guaranteed. stumbling block.

Atlanta, which made Freeman a qualifying bid early in the season, made a five-year bid in the $135 million range. It is believed that they eventually paid the guarantee of about $140 million, but the organization appeared to be opposed to putting a sixth year on the table. Freeman turned 32 in September, and it appears that Braves had real reservations about ensuring his premium paycheck during his 37-year campaign.

During the lockdown, industry chatter has picked up that Freeman and the brave may be heading their separate ways. It was all official when Atlanta make a deal To get an A star. Matt Olson Monday afternoon, sign it to extend 168 million dollars. Freeman wrote farewell to his former teammates and Atlanta fan base on instagram afternoon.

It’s not hard to see reasons for the brave ones to let Freeman walk. Olson is more than four years younger than him, so his extension only allows him a season at the age of 35. There is a real risk of commitment to any player in their late thirties, and this is especially true given that Freeman needs to continue to reach a very high level to be an outstanding player. He’s a strong defensive base man but unlikely to be a perennial Golden Glove winner in his mid-30s.

The last decades of more than six years for free agents in this position have not been particularly fruitful. Each of the past four deals that are more than six years old for the first baseline – for eight years for Padres Eric Hosmer Agreement, return the Orioles Chris Davis on a seven-year agreement, Prince Felder Nine-year contract with Tigers and the Angels’ ten-year investment in Albert Pujols – Turns out they were slips for the club.

Of course, that doesn’t mean Freeman’s deal with Los Angeles will end the same way. It’s shorter than those of other precedents, for example, and Freeman has a more consistent track record than either Hosmer or Davis did by the time they signed their deals. There is nothing fundamental about his offensive profile. Freeman doesn’t chase many pitches, and he does a lot of pitch friction in and out of the strike zone. It publishes high quality exit speeds and challenging connection rates annually. As with most left-handed hitters, he is best against right-handed pitchers. Nevertheless, Freeman’s .266/.348/.436 career mark against Southpaws proves that he is more than capable of holding on his own without the platoon advantage.

Even after the Braves withdrew from the race, some teams kept running for his services. The Red Sox and Padres have been superficially linked to Freeman in recent days, but it looks like the surprise Rays may have proven one of the Dodgers’ toughest competitors in the end. Juan Toribio from Tweets He made a “boost” throughout the process, but L.A.’s willingness to bow out for a guaranteed sixth year proved to be a deal breaker in the end.

It’s a return to Southern California for Freeman, a native of Orange County. In addition to its financial and geographic appeal, it will move to a lineup among the best in recent memory. It is envisaged that the Dodgers will release an opening day lineup consisting of Freeman, Mocky PetsAnd the Tria TurnerAnd the Max MuncieAnd the Justin TurnerAnd the will SmithAnd the Chris TaylorAnd the Cody Bellinger And the AJ Bullock. Bates, Freeman and Bellinger are the former best players in the league. Eight of these nine players earned at least one all-star pick; The only player who has yet to go to the Midsummer Classic, Smith, is among the top catchers in MLB.

The Dodgers family had assembled a similar star-studded monument staff, and building this type of slate required a significant investment in ownership. Los Angeles passed all three luxury tax categories last season, incurred Approximately $33 million in fees. They are ready to pay another huge expense this season.

The exact financial structure of the Freeman deal is not yet known, but the average annual values ​​of the contracts are used for welfare tax purposes anyway. Adding $27 million to this mark would push the 2022 CBT tab north of $277 million, Jason Martinez estimates. Menu resource. Given that they outlasted CBT last season, the Dodgers will be subject to an escalating fee as a payee for the second time. They will be taxed at a rate of 30% for every dollar spent between $230 million and $250 million, a 42% cut-off on extra lives between $250 million and $270 million, and a 75% rate on extra lives between $270 million and $290 million And 90% tax on all shoulders north of $290 million.

In addition to the financial cost, the Dodgers will incur certain non-monetary penalties for signing a player who has declined an eligible offer. Since they paid the luxury tax last year, they will lose their second-highest and fifth-highest picks in the upcoming draft and be stripped of $1 million in the international signing bonus space. The Braves, as a team that did not receive revenue sharing and did not pay luxury tax, will receive a compensatory selection after the second round of competitive credit in the upcoming draft. These selections usually fall into the 70-75 total range.

More is coming.

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