Freddie Freeman has said goodbye.
The now-former Braves first baseman took to social media on Wednesday to thank the organization and fans for his 15 years with the franchise that culminated with the World Series championship last year. Freeman, a free agent, could not come to terms with the team on a new contract after lengthy negotiations.
Freeman reportedly agreed to a six-year, $162 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers late Wednesday night.
When it became apparent a new deal with his old team was not going to be agreed upon, the Braves traded for A’s first baseman Matt Olson on Monday. While no official word has come from the Braves, a tearful general manager Alex Anthopoulos said the team needed to move forward and completed the deal for Olson. He called it the toughest decision of his career.
Freeman posted the following: “I don’t even know where to begin. For the past 15 years I got to be apart of your organization. It was truly an honor. We went through the very highs together and some lows but those lows is what made last year so special. You watched me grow up from a baby faced kid to marrying my love @chelseafreeman5 and seeing us bring three beautiful boys into this world. I’m so glad my family got to be apart of yours! To Snit, my coaches, teammates, training staff and everyone who made Turner Field and Truist Park so special for my family and I over the years. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It has been a blast to have you cheer for me and I hope I was able to bring smiles to a lot of your homes over the years. I gave everything I had day in and day out and I hope you guys saw that as well. Although our time has come to an end, I look forward to seeing you and playing in front of you all again. When that time comes, I hope you remember all the wonderful memories we made together. I love you Braves Country! Champions Forever!
“Love, Freddie, Chelsea, Charlie, Brandon, Maximus”
News of the business side of baseball swept through the Braves during spring training this week.
“The easiest thing to say is that (jersey) No. 5 should never be worn again,” Dansby Swanson said Tuesday.
Freeman, who came up through the Braves organization, became the star, face, voice and leader in recent years. The Braves won four consecutive National League East titles and won the World Series in November by defeating the Astros. Several teammates proclaimed their desire to re-sign Freeman during the victory parade.