With a lockout looming amid the Collective Bargaining set to expire at 11:59p.m. tonight, many players remain unsigned with many things uncertain.
One of those unsigned free agents is 5-time All-Star Freddy Freeman, a notorious “Phillie Killer,” and someone the Phillies should take a swing at signing.
Freeman’s Offseason Outlook
Freeman, 32, is looking for a contract of “about $180M for 6 years” according to Jon Heyman.
The contract Freeman is seeking is a bargain for a player of his caliber, especially with the high-value contracts signed this offseason.
A lineup consisting of Bryce Harper and Freddie Freeman seems a little far-fetched, but if the Phillies finally decide to go over the luxury tax, it could become reality.
Can the Phillies Pull It Off?
For the 2022 season, the Phillies have $38,306,052 to play with before going over the tax according to Destiny Lugardo.
If the Phillies gave Freeman his $30 million average annual value, that still gives them room to acquire a reliever, like Corey Knebel, and potentially still is under the threshold.
With the need for two other outfielders still a must, Freddie to the Phillies deal would almost guarantee the Phillies surpass that threshold.
People have been begging the Phillies to go over the tax for years now, and Freddie Freeman is a great excuse to finally do so.
The Phillies haven’t been scared to spend money high amounts of money in the past few years, but the luxury tax has always been a stopping point.
Should the Phillies Do It, If They Can?
Having the 2020 and 2021 National League Most Valuable Players in the same lineup is something that will probably not happen, but the interest should be mutual.
Freeman has a career slash line of .295/.384/.509 with 271 home runs and 941 RBIs and has never played less than 115 games. In 2020, he played in all 60 of Atlanta’s regular-season games.
He has been the poster boy of consistency; at a position, the Phillies have severely lacked in the past few years.
Freeman has an elite glove to first base, something the Phillies haven’t had at first base in a while. Freeman won a Gold Glove in 2018.
With the Designated hitter’s arrival to the national league immanent, Freeman gives the Phillies a great opportunity to keep Rhys Hoskins’ bat in the lineup without his subpar defense hurting them.
His near .300 career batting average, almost 300 home runs and 1,000 RBIs also make him desirable.
The Phillies will certainly be in a bidding war with their division rival Atlanta Braves, but if John Middleton wants his trophy back, Freeman can expedite that process exponentially.
Photo Credit: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire