Star MLB first baseman Freddie Freeman found a new team Wednesday night, signing a six-year deal with the Dodgers reportedly worth $162 million. A few hours before the signing was reported, Freeman said his goodbyes to Atlanta and Braves fans. With the acquisition of first baseman Matt Olson earlier this week, it was obvious enough that Freeman, a franchise legend in Atlanta, was not going to be retained by the Braves.
Freeman said playing for the Braves was "truly an honor." Here's the full caption from his Instagram post saying goodbye to the Braves:
I don't even know where to begin. For the past 15 years I got to be apart of your organization. It was truly an honor. We went through the very highs together and some lows but those lows is what made last year so special. You watched me grow up from a baby faced kid to marrying my love @chelseafreeman5 and seeing us bring 3 beautiful boys into this world. I'm so glad my family got to be apart of yours! To Snit, my coaches, teammates, training staff, clubhouse staff, and everyone who made Turner Field and Truist Park so special for my family and I over the years. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It has been a blast to have you cheer for me and I hope I was able to bring smiles to a lot of your homes over the years. I gave everything I had day in and day out and I hope you guys saw that as well. Although our time has come to an end, I look forward to seeing and playing in front of you all again. When that time comes, I hope you remember all the wonderful memories we made together. I love you Braves Country! Champions Forever!
Freddie, Chelsea, Charlie, Brandon, Maximus
Freeman's voyage with the Atlanta Braves organization was something to behold. He was drafted in the second round of the 2007 draft out of high school. He debuted with the team in 2010 and was an everyday starter in his age-21 season the following year. He played for playoff teams in 2012 and 2013 before being the only player to stick around through a complete teardown and rebuild. Things culminated with a World Series championship in 2021.
In parts of 12 seasons with the Braves, Freeman hit .295/.384/.509 (138 OPS+) with 1,704 hits, 367 doubles, 271 home runs, 941 RBI, 969 runs, 43.1 WAR, five All-Star teams, three Silver Sluggers, a Gold Glove, an MVP and that World Series title.
Among position players in Braves history, Freeman trails only Hank Aaron, Eddie Mathews, Chipper Jones, Andruw Jones and Dale Murphy in WAR. He ranks third in doubles, sixth in home runs, sixth in total bases, seventh in hits, seventh in RBI and 10th in runs. Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson said earlier this week that he thinks Freeman's No. 5 should be retired by Atlanta.