Do Braves already have a Freddie Freeman backup plan?

The Atlanta Braves are likely to re-sign Freddie Freeman, but what if negotiations fall through? 

Alex Anthopoulos can say all the right things the entire offseason, but that doesn’t mean he has a realistic backup plan in place for Freddie Freeman. The longtime Braves first baseman is looking for the largest contract of his career, and now is the time to cash in.

Freeman made the All-Star Game last season, and won the NL MVP the year before that. He’s due to receive upwards to $28 million per season on a six-year deal that would tie him to the ATL into his late-30’s.

Any hesitation on the Braves’ part is rather petty given what Freeman has meant to the franchise. Per reports, the only holdup at this point is on whether or not the Braves should give Freeman his coveted sixth year.

Freddie Freeman rumors: Do Braves have a backup plan?

The Braves are fully focused on Freeman at this juncture, and rightly so. For now, they’re the clear favorites, despite Freeman’s agent meeting with the New York Yankees and the like.

However, should Freeman sign elsewhere, a solid replacement could be available via trade. Matt Olson of the Oakland Athletics — who is also a Yankees trade target — would be an admirable replacement for Freeman.

Braves faithful would rightfully still be upset at Anthopoulos and ownership for not paying up for Freeman, but Olson is an All-Star first baseman who is a capable defender. He’s gone relatively unnoticed in Oakland, but wouldn’t be a significant downgrade from Freeman for the Braves.

Olson would cost the Braves some prospect capital, as he’s only 27 years old and coming off his first All-Star appearance. He’s also won two Gold Gloves.

The best solution for the Braves, however, would just be to pay up for Freeman. He’s the face of the franchise, and just led Atlanta to their first World Series in over a decade. Don’t mess this up.

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