Freddie Freeman: The San Francisco Giants 2018 Third Basemen?
By David Jaulus
Any fan who watched the San Francisco Giants even somewhat closely in 2017 realized that the lack of offensive production at third base was a major problem.
This was especially true following the trade of Eduardo Nunez prior to the July 31 Trade Deadline. The answer, at least in the short-term, could be Freddie Freeman.
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A Review of Current Options
Let’s begin this discussion with a simple premise. The San Francisco Giants do not have their starting third baseman for 2018 on the roster as currently constructed.
Arroyo and Jones could represent long-term solutions; however, at 23 and 21 years of age respectively, they will not be ready to take leading roles for the San Francisco Giants in 2018.
The Pablo Sandoval experiment was for the most part an abject failure.
This begs the question, what is the answer at third base for the Giants in 2018?
The Case for Freddie Freeman
Bobby Evans should inquire as to the availability of Atlanta Braves first basemen/third baseman Freddie Freeman.
Although Freeman is not a free agent until 2022, meaning that the Giants would have to absorb the final five years of his contract, Freeman would provide a much needed jolt of power and run production in the middle of the order.
Freeman is coming off a year in which he batted .307 with 28 homers and 71 RBI, and Freeman is a career .290 hitter according to Baseball Reference.
Freeman’s 28 bombs would have led the Giants by 10 as Brandon Belt finished the season with a team-high 18 home runs despite missing significant time due to a concussion.
Why The Braves Could Trade Freddie Freeman
On its face, the idea that the Braves would trade Freddie Freeman does not make sense. He is a franchise cornerstone who is under contract for the next five seasons.
However, this scenario becomes more plausible given the Braves recent organizational turmoil, which ultimately led to the resignation of their General Manager John Coppolella amidst an MLB investigation into multiple allegations of organizational misconduct, according to MLBTradeRumors.
These circumstances could speculatively result in Freeman demanding to leave Atlanta. Even if he were to do this, Freeman should garner a fairly significant prospect return for the Braves due to his offensive prowess and relative youth.
If the Braves are forced to trade Freeman, the Giants should be one of the strongest suitors. This is due to Freeman’s ability to play both corners of the infield. Freeman voluntarily moved to third base following Atlanta’s acquisition of Matt Adams from the St. Louis Cardinals early in the 2017 season.
In summary, the Giants should aggressively pursue Freddie Freeman if he is made available via trade this off-season because of his selflessness, versatility and power.
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A Couple of Caveats
Freddie Freeman does have a rather significant injury history. He missed time at the beginning of the 2017 season with a wrist injury.
Freeman’s injuries combined with his long-term contract may dissuade the Giants from making a run at him.
However, injury and money-related risks are inherent in any acquisition. It is time for the Giants to take a risk in order to acquire a potentially franchise altering talent.
The question of course is whether Freeman will hit the trade market? Only time will tell — stay tuned!