As it turns out, the Atlanta Braves didn’t have to choose between a long-term deal for franchise icon Freddie Freeman and two years of a similarly talented younger star.
Less than 24 hours after trading for strapping first baseman Matt Olson in a five-player deal with the Oakland Athletics, the Braves signed him to a deal that could lock him into their lineup through 2030.
The team announced the deal to the astonishment of a fan base still reeling from the revelation that Freeman would be donning a new uniform in 2022.
It’s an eight-year, $168 million deal that buys out at least six seasons of Olson’s free agency, with a club option for 2030. And without too much reading between the lines, it is a clear message from GM Alex Anthopoulos and the Braves front office that despite Freeman’s stature in the franchise, they are not just turning the page, but enthusiastically throwing their lot in with the younger Olson.
Freeman, more than four years Olson’s senior, is reportedly seeking six years on his new contract.