Report: Tampa Bay Rays made an offer to free agent first baseman Freddie Freeman

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World Series champion Freddie Freeman is one of the premier free agents on the open market. Unfortunately due to the lockout, teams and players are not able to negotiate until the league and the MLBPA agree to a new CBA. Reportedly prior to the lockout, the small-market Tampa Bay Rays made an offer to Freeman, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network. 

Sources: The low-revenue Tampa Bay Rays made superstar Freddie Freeman an offer before the lockout. Yankees very interested. Jays, Dodgers, others could fit. It’s a surprise Braves didn’t lock him up before lockout; they remain in mix. (New daily feature: actual baseball news)

— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 7, 2022

Heyman’s report did not indicate the contract offer from Rays. He also indicated that the Yankees are “very interested” in Heyman. 

The Rays offering Freddie Freeman a contract is a surprise

Image courtesy of John Bazemore

The Rays offering Freeman a contract is a surprise considering they’ve always been a small-market team. However, the Rays offering Freeman a free agent contract shows their commitment level to their roster for the future. 

According to Spotrac, the Rays have a total team payroll of $75 million. The Rays highest paid player is centerfield Kevin Kiermaier who will earn over $12 million next season. 

Once Rays enter the 2023 season, they only have $25 million in commitments. The Rays offering Freeman a contract isn’t as crazy as some may think it would be. 

Back in November, the Rays signed shortstop Wander Franco to an 11-year, $182 million extension. His deal can escalate to $223 million based off a club option and other escalators.

The Braves not offering Freddie Freeman a contract more of a shock than the Rays offering him one

The Braves not offering Freeman a free agent contract is more of a shock than the Rays making an offer. Freeman has been the face of the Braves franchise since 2010. Last season, the left-handed slugger hit .300 last season while slugging 31 home runs and driving in 83 RBIs. 

While Freeman is one of the most sought after bats in free agency, the major question is whether he will return to Atlanta. 

According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, there is “growing belief” around the industry that Freeman is not going back to the Braves. Despite the rumors and innuendo surrounding Freeman, he will set to cash in once the lockout is lifted. It will be interesting to see whether the Rays come out on top the winners. 

– Chris Henrique (@ChrisHenrique on Twitter)

Feature image courtesy of The Advocate

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