Former MVP and notorious Phillies killer Freddie Freeman is leaving the National League East after 12 seasons in the division.
The 32-year-old Freeman will head to the Los Angeles Dodgers after agreeing to a six-year, $162 million contract, according to a report from Jon Morosi of MLB Network.
The first baseman had previously spent his whole career with the Braves, making five All-Star teams, winning a Gold Glove, being named 2020 NL MVP and leading the team to the 2021 World Series championship while in Atlanta. The Braves previously signaled the end of the franchise icon’s tenure with the club when they traded for former A’s All-Star first baseman Matt Olson on Monday afternoon.
While Olson is a major addition for Atlanta, the Phillies ought to be relieved to see Freeman on his way out of the division. They saw the damage that Freeman was capable of inflicting as often as anyone.
Debuting in September 2010, Freeman hit the first home run of his career off Roy Halladay — that season’s NL Cy Young — in a game between Atlanta and Philadelphia. He continued to provide clutch moments against the Phillies throughout his career.
On opening day 2018, Freeman hit a home run off Phillies reliever Hoby Milner in the sixth inning after Gabe Kapler removed starter Aaron Nola, who threw only 68 pitches. Down 5-0, the two-run shot sparked a walk-off comeback victory by the Braves.
Freeman kicked off another comeback last season, hitting a solo homer off Vince Velasquez in the sixth inning on May 8 before Pablo Sandoval hit a two-run blast to tie it in the ninth. The Braves later won in the bottom of the 12th.
In 194 career games against the Phillies, Freeman has batted .298/.398/.495 with 30 home runs, 42 doubles and 120 RBIs.
Of course, that kind of production has never been exclusive to matchups with Philadelphia. Freeman has hit .295/.384/.509 with 271 home runs in 12 big-league seasons throughout his career.
One of the leagues best hitters of the last decade, he shouldn’t have many problems trying to find a new favorite opponent.
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