The New York Yankees are doing their due diligence with all the top lefty free agent and trade candidates at first base. While there’s still potential general manager Brian Cashman will retain Anthony Rizzo on an extension, the Yankees have been thoroughly engaged in potential trade talks with the Oakland Athletics for Matt Olson.
However, a surprise target has entered the fold, Atlanta Braves star infielder Freddie Freeman. While the Braves are keen on retaining him after winning the World Series, Freeman is seeking a deal that could range from 5 to 6 years and $135-200M.
If Freeman seeking a long-term deal at that price tag, which he is, the Braves may be forced to let him walk.
Yankees met with reps for all top lefthanded-hitting 1B, including Freddie Freeman. Of course the Braves would seem most likely to retain Freeman, while Rizzo and perhaps trade candidate Olson, among others, may be more realistic for NYY. But it’s worth investigating the great FF
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 15, 2021
The Yankees could target Freeman, but they’d have to settle elsewhere:
Freeman is coming off an elite season with Atlanta, hitting .300 with 31 homers and 83 RBIs. He also contributed 120 runs and a 14.1% strikeout rate. Freeman is the gold standard at first base, contributing solid defense and an elite bat.
At Yankee Stadium, he’s a candidate to hit 40 home runs with a short right porch. He contributed 122 singles, 25 doubles, and two triples this past season, recording a 45.7% hard-hit rate. At 32-years-old, Freeman is hitting his stride and will likely continue raking at 6’5″ and 220 pounds.
Considering Freeman as a free agent, the Yankees wouldn’t have to deal any players to Atlanta in exchange. There’s no question he will earn a monster contract paying him upward of $30 million per season, but he is worth every penny when looking at his reliability in the health department and production in both the regular and postseason. The problem is, the Bombers are already on the hook for multiple big-money players and a mega-deal for Aaron Judge waiting in the wings. They likely can’t afford to sign a premium first baseman and top shortstop.
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