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Braves’ Freddie Freeman says he wants to stay in Atlanta

Sep 22, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) celebrates after hitting a home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the ninth inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 22, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) celebrates after hitting a home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the ninth inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Braves All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman hits free agency this offseason, but he said he hopes to remain in Atlanta.

The reigning National League MVP made it clear to USA Today, in a story published Tuesday, that despite the possibility of a bigger payday elsewhere, his heart remains with the Braves.

“I’ve been in this organization for 15 years, nearly half of my life, and it means everything to me,” Freeman, 32, said. “I am an Atlanta Brave. I love this organization. I don’t know anything else.

“The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, you know, and the grass is pretty green here. I know there is a business side to everything, but I really do hope we can work it out where I’m staying here. It’s weird it’s even gone down to this. But there’s nowhere else I want to go.

“It would mean the world to me to spend my entire career here.”

The Braves selected Freeman in the second round of the 2007 MLB Draft, and he made his debut with the team in September 2010, just days before his 21st birthday. A five-time All-Star, he’s batting .300 with 31 homers and 82 RBI and leads the National League in runs scored (117) as the Braves seek to lock up their fourth straight NL East title.

Atlanta is 2 1/2 games ahead of the Philadelphia Phillies entering a three-game home showdown between the two beginning Tuesday.

Freeman is at the end of an eight-year, $135 million contract he signed on Feb. 4, 2014.

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In 1,560 games with the Braves, Freeman has a .295 career average with 271 home runs and 940 RBIs. He is among the all-time leaders in the storied franchise in several statistical categories, including sixth in home runs, seventh in RBIs, ninth in games played and fifth in runs created with 1,151.

— Field Level Media