All the East Coast Dodger fans who went to bed early on Wednesday night hoping they would awake to a new Los Angeles first baseman got their wish.
According to Jon Morosi of the MLB Network, Freddie Freeman and the Los Angeles Dodgers agreed to a 6-year deal not long after midnight Eastern time. The contract is reportedly worth $162 million, although additional information will surely trickle in later regarding potential incentives and other details.
The signing came on the same evening the rival Giants signed former Dodger outfielder Joc Pederson.
The first thing that comes to mind is that Freeman will no doubt fill the hole in the Los Angeles lineup vacated by Corey Seager, who left for the Rangers and $325 million not long before the winter lockout.
We’ve already taken a quick peek last week of how a Dodger lineup might look with the lefty hitting Freeman inserted into the three-hole.
With Cody Bellinger having settled in at the center field spot, the Dodgers get a significant defensive upgrade at first base in the 32-year-old Freeman, as Max Muncy may see most of his time as the club’s DH while spending limited cover time at both second and third base.
In Freeman, the Dodgers get an ironman who never played fewer than 115 games in a season, aside from his debut campaign in 2010 and the pandemic year in 2020. For the World Champion Braves last year, Freeman played 159 regular season games, slashing .300/.393/.503 with 31 homers and 83 RBI, all numbers on par with his career averages.
Freeman won the National League MVP during the abbreviated season in 2020, but many believe his banner year came in 2019 when he slashed .295/.389/.549 with 38 long balls, 34 doubles and 121 RBI in an MLB-leading 162 regular season games. Aside from 2010 and 2020, Freeman has hit 18 or more home runs in each of his 12 big league seasons.
The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Freeman has a long list of accolades to his credit, including finishing runner-up to Atlanta teammate Craig Kimbrel for the National League Rookie of the Year award in 2011. In addition to the MVP award, Freeman has been named to five All-Star teams, earned one Gold Gloved and captured five Silver Slugger Awards.
Initially a second-round pick by the Braves out of Orange El Modena High in 2007, Freeman returns to California with a career .295/.384/.509 slash line with 271 home runs and 941 RBI.