The SF Giants continue to tweak the roster as they gear up for the beginning of spring training but they are not the only team in the NL West staying busy. The Los Angeles Dodgers made a substantial addition to the lineup on Wednesday night.
Longtime SF Giants rival make formidable addition to a strong lineup
Multiple reports on Wednesday confirmed that longtime Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman had agreed to a six-year, $162 million pact with the Los Angeles Dodgers. It had been expected that Freeman would depart via free agency as soon as the Braves completed a trade to acquire star Oakland A's first baseman Matt Olson.
If you are a Giants fan, I think we can all share in a collective sigh after seeing the Dodgers make another move like this. Over the past few seasons, they have targeted some of the better names on the market by trade or free agency including Mookie Betts, Trea Turner, and Trevor Bauer.
In 2021, the Dodgers had one of the more potent offenses in the National League as the posted a 103 OPS+ as a team. Oddly enough, the Giants registered an even higher OPS+ of 107.
Nevertheless, the Giants have suffered some notable losses including Buster Posey to retirement and Kris Bryant to the Rockies. It is going to be tough for the Giants to replace that type of production, but it is a challenge they must accept if they are to compete with the Dodgers next season.
It bears mentioning that the Dodgers lost a huge name as well in Corey Seager. The seven-year veteran posted a .306/.394/.521 line (145 OPS+) with 16 home runs, 54 runs scored, and 57 RBI in 409 plate appearances. Freeman produced similarly strong results by slashing .300/.393/.503 (133 OPS+) with 31 home runs, 120 runs scored, and 83 RBI in 695 plate appearances.
The major difference between Seager and Freeman is durability. The latter has been a stalwart, missing a total of seven games over the last four seasons. Seager has missed substantial time in recent seasons after battling back and elbow injuries.
Freeman has been a perennial MVP candidate in recent seasons. The 32-year-old first baseman has finished in the top 10 of MVP voting in each of the last fours seasons including taking home the award in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
Nonetheless, the longtime Braves first baseman joins a stacked lineup that includes Trea Turner, Justin Turner, Mookie Betts, Max Muncy, Chris Taylor, and many more. The Giants are going to have their hands full in containing this lineup but the pitching staff did record a 3,25 ERA last season with many of the same names returning. They are up for the task.