LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Freddie Freeman is heading home to California.
According to ESPN and AP reports, Freeman has agreed to a six-year, $162 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers just before midnight Thursday.
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The deal would be the second-highest average annual value in MLB history for a first baseman at $27 million.
Freeman was born and raised in southern California before being drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 2007.
The move comes after the 32-year-old won his first-ever World Series with the Braves in 2021.
On Wednesday, Freeman penned an emotional goodbye to Braves Country in an Instagram post thanking the fanbase for watching him “grow up from a baby faced kid to marrying my love @chelseafreeman5 and seeing us bring 3 beautiful boys into this world.”
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Earlier this week, fans and analysts assumed the Freeman era was coming to an end when the Braves announced they had signed first baseman Matt Olson from the Oakland Athletics. He was signed to an eight-year contract.
Freeman signing with Los Angeles answers a year-long question about where the 2020 MVP would end up. Many fans wanted the Braves to re-sign Freeman to a contract before the 2021 season began.
Instead, the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement during the season. Freeman became free agent shortly after Atlanta’s first World Series win since 1995.
“Did I think I’d be sitting here with no contract? No, I didn’t,” Freeman told FOX Sports crew in November. “This is a crazy game, a crazy business. But everyone knows where my heart is. And that’s the Atlanta Braves.”
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Rumors circulated since free agency began that the Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox and Rays were in contention for Freeman along with the Braves.
But then the lockout stalled all talks for almost 100 days since teams couldn’t communicate with players or free agents.
Then on the first full day of spring training Monday, Atlanta traded for Olson, signaling they were moving on from Freeman. Atlanta sent top prospects Cristian Pache, Shea Langeliers, Ryan Cusick and Joey Estes to Oakland in exchange for Olson.
The Yankees signed Anthony Rizzo. The Dodgers got Freeman to return to his hometown.
The Braves selected Freeman in the second round of the 2007 MLB Draft. Freeman made his debut three years later on Sept. 1, 2010.
He quickly became a fan favorite and force to be reckoned with for Atlanta. All the hard work paid off for Freeman, especially in the past two years.
During his time in Atlanta, Freeman made five National League All-Star teams, won a Golden Glove in 2018 and won a Silver Slugger award each of the last three seasons.
Freeman won the NL Most Valuable Player in 2020, the first Brave to win since Chipper Jones. He followed up his stellar 2020 season with something bigger in 2021: A World Series ring.
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