Over the past week, rumors have been spreading that the Atlanta Braves are seeking to trade first baseman Freddie Freeman. According to GM John Coppolella, they are in no way thinking about trading Freeman.
“I cannot make it any more clear: We are not trading Freddie Freeman,” Coppolella said. “We are not. I’d give my right arm before we trade Freddie Freeman. It is not happening.”
Freeman was drafted in the second round by the Braves in 2007. He made his big league debut in 2010 where he only had 24 plate appearances. For his career, he has a batting average of .285 with 104 home runs and 424 RBIs.
While his batting is just above average, his fielding is what really helps the Braves out. With his long arms and legs, Freeman is able to dig balls out of the dirt that are thrown his way as well as grab balls thrown way above his head. Without him over on first, the Braves would easily have a lot of errors made by other infielders.
Freeman has become the face of the Braves since Chipper Jones retired in 2012. Fans like to have familiar faces on the roster and trading Freeman would feel like a slap in the face after trading another fan favorite in Andrelton Simmons.
Simmons was traded on November 12, 2015 to the Los Angeles Angels for shortstop Erick Aybar and two pitching prospects. When asked if he expected the trade Simmons replied, "I didn't expect it, but if you see what's happening in Atlanta ... you won't be surprised when you hear it's happening." His response to being a part of the Angels organization was, "I'm happy to be part of an organization that's trying to win, win right now."
That statement sums up the Braves' rebuilding process. They aren't focused on winning short-term, they're focused on long-term. They will trade anyone if they feel like it will work towards the long-term goal.
Will all of these trades pan out for the Braves? Only time will tell. They have a farm system stocked now with a lot of talent that they will be able to use later on as trading pieces to get the final pieces needed for the team, as long as this talent lives up to their hype.
With one year left in Turner Field, the Braves will say goodbye to the old and welcome in all things new for SunTrust Park.