How the teams were replaced by Freddie Freeman and Kenley Janssen

San Diego – The first all-star player who desperately wanted to stay in Atlanta is in Los Angeles.

An All-Star relative who really wanted to stay in Los Angeles is in Atlanta.

The first base of all the other stars whose trades started this chain reaction from Auckland to Atlanta is excited that he and his wife have been given the opportunity to return to their hometown with a long-term deal.

Baseball business can be extremely unpredictable, irresponsible, and silly, but it is rarely distorted by a three-way, direct-impact collision over a five-day period, as it was for Freddie Freeman, Kenley Janssen, and Matt Olson in mid-March. . Further push-ups will be shown in full on Monday night at the Dodger Stadium, a rematch of last season’s early season’s National League Championship series between Los Angeles and Atlanta.

“I do not believe he’s brave and not brave,” said Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts on Freeman one afternoon near the end of spring training.

“We just naively expected him to return to Atlanta,” said Andrew Friedman, president of Dodgers Baseball Operations. “Obviously, our interest was real. But the probability of that, in our opinion, was very small. “

Freeman, 32, is a five-time all-star, winner of the 2020 NL Most Valuable Player Award and a 13-year veteran. He joined Atlanta in 2010, became the face of the franchise over the next decade, and was loved by team fans. He believed that he would be brave all his life. One of his older brothers, Andrew, even moved from Mexico to Atlanta to work with Honeywell to stay close to Freddie. For the same reason his stepmother, Diana, moved there.

“It was one of the places he could go, and he thought it would be fun,” said Fred’s senior, Fred’s father. “Now he goes to dinner with my eldest son, Freddie.”

The roots were deep. But Freeman’s free agency caused uncertainty after the Atlanta World Series Championships, and the 99-day MLB lockout, which lasted from December to March, brought darkness.

When business resumed and the lights were on again, Atlanta stunned Freeman and the rest of the baseball players, and on the first Monday of spring training, Olson, who was playing in the same position, immediately bought him from Auckland. It was a sign of flickering neon that the breezes had suddenly severed ties with Freeman.

“He changed the landscape and we felt there was a real chance we could make it happen,” Friedman said of his team’s pursuit of Freeman.

Two days later, indeed, the Dodgers signed Freeman, who grew up from a few pop fly Dodger Stadium in Orange County, California, and gave him a six-year, $ 162 million deal that Atlanta was hesitant to offer.

Two days later, Bryce signed 34-year-old Jansen, whose 350 saves were 13th in the season with an all-time, $ 16 million one-year contract.

“I will never say I wanted to go back to Los Angeles; “I’m going to go where I feel like it,” Janssen said in a weekend interview in San Diego, adding: “It’s going to be blue in my blood all my life. Everywhere I go, people tell me I’re a Dodger. It’s just the business side. “We both did not succeed for obvious reasons. We both tried a lot, but it did not happen.”

If Janssen had waited a few more days to settle in Los Angeles, it is possible he would have remained in the only organization he knew of in baseball. But as soon as he signed, the Dodgers moved on to a new rapprochement, trading with Craig Kimberly.

“I’m already waiting,” Janssen said. “I can not wait for a while. At some point, other teams are going to take you seriously, right? Sometimes in life, you have to look at it this way: When a good opportunity arises, are you going to run it? Or are you going to take it? ”

Freeman, meanwhile, may have wanted to sign with Atlanta for less than he took from Dodgers. But when that door closed, it slammed shut forever. At a press conference with Dodgers that week, Freeman strongly hinted that the tears shed by Alex Antopoulos, the head of baseball operations, Alex Antopoulos, as he reviewed his departure, were false.

“Everything is comfortable now,” said the usually-friendly Freeman, sometimes in a brief, late spring interview. “Now I’re just looking forward to it.”

The Dodgers understand his emotional wounds, and the team is doing its best to make him feel at home rather than doing the $ 162 million deal himself.

“Every day it becomes easier for him to realize that he is no longer with Breiv,” Roberts said. “Freddie has come a long way.”

His relationship in Atlanta could change forever – in a tense group of recent interviews, Atlanta Ronald Akuna Jr. expressed happiness that Freeman was gone before he said his words were misunderstood – but Freeman is looking forward to visiting his old team-mates this Sunday. Stadium.

“It will be wonderful,” Freeman said. “I hate. Oh, yeah. I see all the guys with whom I won the championship last year. We are forever connected. I am looking forward to it. “

However, now he has been instructed to seize the NL title from them. In Los Angeles, Freeman is part of an enviable roster that includes four MVP winners: Freeman, Clayton Kershaw, Mookie Bates, and Cody Bellinger. Roberts said “he will help us win the championship” and at least rival pitchers will need steel nerves.

As for their sudden connection to the Spring Transaction series, Freeman said he did not know Olson “at all” and did not know Jansen. Jansen said he knew Freeman well enough to greet him and “that’s it.”

Before Freeman or Jansen figured out where they could go, the quick Bryves signed Olson on an eight-year contract worth $ 168 million, just 24 hours after he was traded.

“It was like straightening the stars,” Olson said. “It was an ideal storm. The chance to have a long-term choice in the city where I grew up to join the World Series champions was a pretty simple choice for me and my wife.

He said his new teammates were in good spirits and after returning to the stadium to open the season in Atlanta, he said fans did not feel the cold shoulders that made him angry over Freeman’s departure.

“I was pleasantly surprised by how it went,” Olson said.

It was a kind of comeback for Jansen as well. The Braves raised in Curacao were Janssen’s team because of Atlanta Curaçao central defender Andrew Jones. Jansen said he was happy to be playing with another compatriot, Ozzy Albi, and his warm smile is familiar, even if it is not his new form, at least not yet.

“He’s a big part of this team,” said manager Brian Snitker. “You can not understand that he has not been here for five or six years when you see him at the club.”

Janssen, his wife Johnny and their three children will continue to become permanent residents of the Los Angeles area. So far he has tried not to think much about returning home earlier this week. But he rejoices that sooner rather than later, he gets away with it.

“When the time comes, I’ll probably be emotional,” he said. “I have to make sure I control it.”

For most of the past decade, at the Dodgers Club, above his closet, the flag of the state of California was displayed, which was changed to “Kenley-Fornia”. He will now enter his home gym as a “souvenir,” he said.

When the old ways are over and a new beginning begins, some souvenirs can be enjoyable.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.