How Freddy Freeman and Kenley Johnson changed teams

San Diego – The All-Star first baseman who desperately wanted to stay in Atlanta is in Los Angeles.

The closest to an All-Star who badly wanted to live in Los Angeles is in Atlanta.

The second All-Star first baseman, whose trade from Auckland to Atlanta triggered a chain reaction, was pleased that he and his wife were given the chance to return to their hometown on a long-term deal.

The baseball business can be wildly unpredictable, senseless, and soulless, but at least it is spread over a five-day period in three-way, direct-impact pieces as it is by Freddie Freeman, Kenley Johnson. And that was in the middle of March for Matt Olson. General Chat Chat Lounge Aftershocks are on full display, with a rematch of the opening season of last autumn’s National League Championship Series between Los Angeles and Atlanta on Monday night at Dodger Stadium.

“I can’t believe he is a Dodger and not a Brave,” Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said of Freeman, nearing the end of an afternoon training, still less than two weeks away. When Veteran Slugger first wore his new uniform.

“We just hoped he would end up back in Atlanta,” said Andrew Friedman, president of the Dodgers for Baseball Operations. “Of course, our interest was real. But the probability of that happening, in our minds, was very low.

Freeman, 32, is a five-time All-Star, winner of the 2020 NL Most Valuable Player Award and 13-year veteran. He joined Atlanta in 2010, becoming the face of a franchise over the next decade and beloved by team fans. He thought he would be brave all his life. An older brother of his, Andrew, also joined Honeywell in moving his job from Mexico to Atlanta, where he lived near Freddy. His sister, Diana, moved there for the same reason.

“It was one of those places where she could go, and she thought it would be fun,” said Fred Sr., Freddy’s father. “Now she goes to dinner with my oldest son instead of Freddy.

The shades were long. But Freeman’s free agency created uncertainty after Atlanta’s World Series Championship, and the 99-day MLB lockout that stretched from December to March brought darkness.

When the business resumed and the lights turned on, Atlanta immediately gained Olson by stroking Freeman and the rest of the baseball, who played the same position from Oakland on the first Monday of spring training. It was a shining new sign that the Braves had ended their relationship with the Freemans unexpectedly.

“That changed the scenario, and we felt there was a real chance we could do it,” Friedman said of his team’s pursuit of Freeman.

Two days later, in fact, the Dodgers signed Freeman, who moved a few pops from Dodger Stadium to Orange County, California, giving him a ten-year, $ 162 million contract that Atlanta was reluctant to offer.

Two days after that, the Braves signed 34-year-old Johnson, whose 350 saves entered the season at 13th all-time with a deal for $ 16 million a year.

“I would never say I want to go back to LA. I can go wherever I want, “Jensen said during a weekly interview in San Diego, before adding:” That blue will be in my blood all my life. Everywhere I go, people say to me that I’m a coward. It’s just their business side. It didn’t work out for either of us, for obvious reasons. We both tried hard, but that didn’t happen.

If Johnson had waited a few days for things to settle down in Los Angeles, it’s possible he would have stayed with the only organization he has ever known in baseball. But once he signed, the Dodgers moved through a trade for a new closer, Craig Kimberly.

“I already waited,” Johnson said. “I can’t wait for a while. At some point, other teams are going to take you seriously, or not? Sometimes in life, you have to look at it this way: When a good opportunity pops up, are you going to take it? Or do you go? “

In addition, Freeman may be ready to sign with Atlanta to take on the Dodgers. But when the door was closed, it closed for good. In his introductory news conference with the Dodgers this week, Freeman strongly hinted that the tears shed by Atlanta’s president of baseball operations, Alex Indianapolis, were fake in discussing his exit.

“Everything is comfortable now,” the commonly-found Freeman said during a sometimes harsh, late spring interview. “I’m just waiting now.”

The Dodgers understand his emotional woes, and the team is doing everything he can to make him feel at home in the $ 162 million deal.

“It gets a little easier every day to make him feel that he is no longer with the Braves,” Roberts said, adding: “There is a business side of things and some things are out of player control. Freddie has gone a long way.

His relations in Atlanta may change forever – in a tense set of recent interviews, Ronald Acuna Jr. of Atlanta expressed joy that Freeman had gone before saying his words were misused – but Freeman Dodger is waiting patiently for a visit with his older partner this week. The stadium.

“It’s going to be awesome,” Freeman said. “I can’t wait Yes, yes. I see all the people I won the championship for last year. We are forever connected. I look forward to it. “

Now, however, he is assumed to have cut the NL title away from them. In Los Angeles, Freeman is part of an elite roster that includes four MVP winners: Freeman, Clayton Kershaw, Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger. Roberts said he was “going to help us win the championship,” and at least, the rival pitchers would need the nerve to steel.

As for their unexpected connection through a series of spring transactions, Freeman said he knew Olson “for nothing” and didn’t really know Johnson. Johnson said he knows enough to say hello to Freeman and “that’s it.”

Before Freeman or Johnson could figure out where to get them, the fast-working Braves signed Olson to an eight-year, $ 168 million contract extension just 24 hours before he was traded.

“It was sort of the stars,” Olson said. “It was a perfect storm. To have the opportunity to get a long-term option in the city in which I grew up, to attend the World Series Champions, was a very easy choice for my wife and me.

His new teammates have been welcomed, he said, and, on his return home to Atlanta at the inaugural season of Homecoming, he said he didn’t feel why fans were worried about Freeman Freeman’s departure.

“I was pleasantly surprised at how it happened,” Olson said.

It was also a kind of homecoming for Jensen. Growing up in Corsau, Brave Johnson’s team was because of Atlanta’s Colorado center fielder, Andrew Jones. Johnson said that he is happy that he is playing with another country, Ozzie Albise, and that his warm smile is familiar, even though he has no new uniform, at least not yet.

“He’s a big part of this team,” said manager Brian Snicker. “You didn’t know he was here for five or six years when you would see him in the clubhouse.”

Jensen, his wife, Gianni, and their three children will continue to make the Los Angeles area their permanent home, Wake said. For now, he’s tried not to think too much about returning home this week for the early season. But he’s happy to get them out of the way soon.

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

For the past several decades, the Dodgers have shown up at his clubhouse in the clubhouse, the flag of the state of California, changed into “Kinley-California.” It will now be in his home gym “as a memorial,” he said.

When the old paths reach an end and a new beginning begins, some memories can be good.

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