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The Atlanta Braves won the 2021 World Series last week, downing the Houston Astros in six games. They've since celebrated with a championship parade. Now, though, the Braves have to turn their attention to the offseason if they want to attempt to become Major League Baseball's first repeat champion in more than two decades, or since the New York Yankees did it in 1998-2000.

One of the top items on general manager Alex Anthopoulos' to-do list is re-signing first baseman Freddie Freeman, who recently ranked No. 5 on CBS Sports' top-50 rankings. Here's what we wrote at the time:

It's hard to imagine the Braves allowing Freeman to leave. Still, we're including him for posterity's sake. Freeman is a sensational hitter who hasn't posted an OPS+ of less than 130 since he was a 22-year-old in 2012. He's also a mighty fine first baseman, and he's become a bastion of durability as of late: over the last four years, he's appeared in 539 of the Braves' 545 games (that's 98.9 percent, for those without access to a calculator). It's to be seen what kind of term Freeman seeks, but on paper he seems like someone who should age gracefully.

Anthopoulos, predictably, expressed his desire to keep Freeman in Atlanta. "How the process plays out and goes from there,"he told Gabriel Burns of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "I can't get into any specifics. Just similar to what I said in the past: Our goal is to sign him and to keep him a Brave."

Freeman isn't the only notable Braves player hitting the open market. Several of Atlanta's midseason acquisitions -- Eddie Rosario, Jorge Soler, and Joc Pederson included -- are available. It's anyone's guess as to who or how many of those players will return. One thing for certain is that the Braves will have a larger payroll heading into next season than they did heading into last.

"Payroll will rise," Anthopoulos told Burns. "Payroll will be going up from '21 to '22, which obviously is a great thing. Beyond that, you guys know me when it comes to that stuff, I don't get into specifics."

For reference, the Braves had an Opening Day payroll of $130 million last spring. Cot's Contracts has them already projected for a $130 million payroll next season.

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