To the surprise of no one, Freddie Freeman has declined the $18.4 million qualifying offer from the Atlanta Braves. That means that should he sign elsewhere, Atlanta will receive draft pick compensation. Freeman was one of 13 players who rejected qualifying offers over the past week. Giants first baseman Brandon Belt is the only player to accept the offer.
Final tally for the one-year, $18.4M qualifying offer, per sources:
Accepted: Brandon Belt.
Rejected: Nick Castellanos, Michael Conforto, Carlos Correa, Freddie Freeman, Raisel Iglesias, Robbie Ray, Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, Trevor Story, Chris Taylor, Justin Verlander.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 17, 2021
Freeman’s decision was just a formality as he will no doubt cash in on a longterm deal with someone this offseason. While most expect Freeman will ultimately end up back with Atlanta, he is reportedly receiving interest from other teams.
That isn’t a surprise as Freeman has established himself as one of the best players in the league at age 32. He took home the National League MVP Award with a monster season in 2020 and then overcame a slow start in 2021 to help the Braves to their first World Series win since 1995. Freeman hit .300/.393/.503 with 31 home runs and a 135 wRC+ during the regular season. He slugged five more homers and put up a 169 wRC+ during Atlanta’s run through the postseason.