Chopcast: Freeman's contract, Braves' long-term approach
Feb 6, 2014 at 3:18p ET
This is nothing scoff at, either. Historically great players have donned the team's various uniforms over the years -- Hank Aaron, Chipper Jones, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine; Hall of Fame guys -- but none garnered the type of long-term extension Freeman was given, a deal that will buy out his remaining three arbitration years and his first five free agent seasons.
Of course, market economics plays a factor here, but he's still the second-youngest player to ever sign a $100-plus million deal, right behind Albert Pujols and just ahead of Clayton Kershaw. Some company, huh?
This is a substantial move on a wider scale, too. The deals that young stars like Andrew McCutchen, Paul Goldschmidt and Carlos Gonzalez are dwarfed by the $135 million.
So, was it a smart move for the Braves? They take on the risk of paying a young player with a limited track record a bunch of money, more than the market has called for in recent years, but there's a chance he's coming even cheaper now than he would have as a free agent, especially if he continues to develop into a middle-of-the-lineup force. And what does this mean for the rest of the Braves' young corps? Our writers discuss that and more in the latest Chopcast: