MLB free agency remains at a standstill with the standoff between the league and the MLBPA showing no signs of ending anytime soon. Still, there are plenty of rumors and speculation still swirling – and after the Chicago Cubs made a big splash with the Marcus Stroman signing right before the lockout began – there’s reason to believe the team isn’t close to done adding.
Of course, several former Cubs – and fan favorites – are still out there, looking for a new deal, including the likes of Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo. I recently delved into some of the likeliest suitors for Bryant, and felt it’s only fair to tackle the latest rumors involving the longtime Chicago first baseman, as well.
Chicago Cubs: Ranking the likeliest Anthony Rizzo landing spots: #3 – Braves
If you ask almost anybody, the commonly held belief throughout the game is that, eventually, Freddie Freeman will return to the reigning World Series champion Atlanta Braves.
The fact that it didn’t happen prior to the lockout is, frankly, surprising. Freeman means to the Braves what Rizzo meant to the Cubs. Of course, you can immediately point to that comparison and see that, even when a player has a lasting legacy with a franchise, it doesn’t mean they’re guaranteed to spend their career there.
Let’s, for a second, say the Braves won’t give Freeman what he’s seeking in his next deal. You can immediately assume the Dodgers and Yankees will both be in on the five-time All-Star, which would leave Atlanta looking for an answer at first base. That’s where Rizzo could come in.
Rizzo is clearly one of the top options for teams looking to improve at first base, along with likely trade candidate Matt Olson of the Athletics. We know the Braves were among a handful of teams in touch with Rizzo’s camp prior to the lockout, so if Freeman walks, you can assume they’ll be picking up the phone again to see if they can get a deal done.