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Officially in blue: Dodgers introduce Freddie Freeman

Sportsnaut
Nov 5, 2021; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman speaks during the World Series championship rally at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Freddie Freeman joined the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday, making his departure from the Atlanta Braves official.

Freeman was the National League MVP for Atlanta in 2020, and he led the Braves to the World Series championship in 2021.

The five-time All-Star first baseman agreed to a six-year, $162 million free agent contract with the Dodgers on Wednesday, two days after Atlanta introduced his replacement, Matt Olson.

Atlanta bid Freeman farewell in a social media post on Friday, thanking him for the memories. Not long after, Freeman arrived in Los Angeles in a suit and tie to meet his new teammates and discuss how he got there with the media.

Freeman strengthens an already potent Dodgers team that has made nine consecutive playoff appearances and is just a year and a half removed from winning a World Series title.

He doesn’t even have to displace a bat from the Los Angeles lineup. Last year’s primary Dodgers first baseman, Max Muncy, could slide into the designated hitter role with the DH being adopted in the National League for the first time.

Freeman, 32, led the NL with 120 runs last season while hitting .300 with 31 homers and 83 RBIs. The prior year, in a pandemic-shortened, 60-game season, Freeman hit .341 with 13 homers, 53 RBIs, a league-leading 51 runs and a league-high 23 doubles.

He has finished in the top 10 in NL MVP voting six times, and he won a Gold Glove in 2018.

Freeman had played his entire 12-year major league career with the Braves, producing a .295 batting average, a .384 on-base percentage, a .509 slugging percentage, 271 homers and 941 RBIs in 1,565 games.

In 42 postseason games, he has a .290/.393/.523 batting line with nine homers and 20 RBIs.

The Braves tacitly acknowledged that Freeman wouldn’t be returning when they acquired Olson in a trade with the Oakland A’s earlier this week. Olson signed an eight-year, $168 million contract with Atlanta on Tuesday.

–Field Level Media