Braves-A’s trade talks could have big Yankees impact


Whenever the MLB lockout ends, Freddie Freeman will immediately become one of the game’s most intriguing players to watch.

The free-agent first baseman was long expected to find a way back to the Braves, but the World Series champions have reportedly checked in on a deal that would serve as a strong Plan B that could also have potential ramifications for the Yankees.

The Braves discussed a trade for Matt Olson with the Athletics before the lockout began, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported on Monday, adding that the talks “cannot be dismissed as mere due diligence.”

While the 32-year-old Freeman is the top first baseman on the free-agent market, the 27-year-old Olson is the top first baseman on the trade market. Once player transactions unfreeze, Freeman could sign quickly — The Post’s Ken Davidoff projected him to land a six-year, $200 million contract — and if it’s not with the Braves, they would be left with a big hole in their lineup unless they have a deal lined up for a replacement like Olson, who happens to be an Atlanta native.

Matt Olson is on the trade market
Matt Olson is on the trade market
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Both lefty-hitting first basemen also figure to be of interest to the Yankees, who are currently slated to head into spring training with the oft-injured Luke Voit as their only full-time first baseman on the 40-man roster. They could also use the versatile DJ LeMahieu at first base, but it still looms as a position of need whenever the lockout ends.

Freeman, the 2020 National League MVP and longtime face of the Braves, hit .300 with a 133 OPS-plus last season while leading the franchise to its first championship since 1995.

Olson, who is under contract through 2023 and projects to earn $12 million in arbitration this season, hit .271 with a 153 OPS-plus last season. Any deal for the two-time Gold Glover is expected to cost a team some of its top prospects.

Freddie Freeman is a free agent
Freddie Freeman is a free agent
Getty Images

Anthony Rizzo, whom the Yankees acquired in a July trade to supplant Voit while he was on the injured list, is the most appealing free-agent first baseman behind Freeman still available on the market.



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