Will the New York Yankees really be able to chase Freddie Freeman this offseason, or is the first baseman just tossing the Yanks into the fray so he can use them for leverage against the Atlanta Braves and their weak offers?
According to Braves manager Brian Snitker, he wouldn’t know Freeman’s intentions.
After all, he hasn’t spoken to the first baseman whatsoever since the final out of the World Series.
Amid swirling rumors that the Yankees plan to “make a run” at Freeman to fill their first base vacancy whenever the lockout ends (is it really a vacancy if Luke Voit is still hangin’ out there?), Snitker confessed to The Athletic (subscription required) that he isn’t exactly relying on having the Braves superstar back whenever camp breaks in 2022.
According to Snitker, he’s not “freaking out” over Freeman’s potential absence amid a continued stalemate between the two sides.
Of course, that stalemate is now legally mandated for as long as the lockout lasts, and there’s nothing Snitker can do to bring them any closer while baseball’s on pause.
Yankees Rumors: Brian Snitker hasn’t spoken to Braves’ Freddie Freeman
What did we learn from Snitker’s Q&A, conducted amid abject silence?
Most importantly, we gleaned that he doesn’t have any clarity on Freeman’s intentions, and didn’t get the impression a deal was close to being secured before everything shut down.
Snitker believes he hasn’t spoken to Freeman since the World Series parade, a month before negotiations ceased.
Additionally, Snitker revealed he “hopes” to have Freeman in the spring and might’ve felt more deflated about the situation if we were in the midst of a normal offseason, but still has no idea how this all might turn out.
The current difference between the two camps, as we understand it, is between five and six years of team control. Atlanta is reportedly unwilling to extend Freeman through his age-38 season, and if the Yankees are “serious” about making a run, they’d better accept the sixth year as a part of their offer.
Of course, Freeman’s hometown Dodgers might have something to say about New York’s chances as well.
As Snitker makes clear, there will be two sides waiting to charge forward the second the lockout is lifted, with agents and teams clashing in a free agency frenzy they’re surely preparing for during their current downtime.
Will cooler heads prevail, resulting in Atlanta management making Freeman a “Brave for life”? Highly possible. But at the moment, his own manager is as in the dark as we are on the first baseman’s future.