WOW: A's First Baseman Matt Olson Has Reportedly Been Traded to the Braves (UPDATE)

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WOW: A’s First Baseman Matt Olson Has Reportedly Been Traded to the Braves (UPDATE)

Chicago Cubs

WOW! The Freddie Freeman era in Atlanta comes to an end with the latest bombshell report. According to Jeff Passan, the Atlanta Braves have traded for A’s first baseman Matt Olson.

It was not totally unexpected, we knew the Braves were keeping Olson in their back pocket if they couldn’t make things work with Freeman, but still … it is shocking. We’ll update the post as soon as we hear about the return – it will be massive – but you should also be on RED ALERT for Freddie Freeman’s decision. The Dodgers are the most commonly connected team, with the Yankees seemingly moved onto Anthony Rizzo or internal options. Stay tuned!

The Braves, you’ll recall, were reportedly stuck at five years in their offer for Freeman, who was holding out for a six-year deal. So it’s unclear now if the (a) the Dodgers or some other team moved up their offer to six years or (b) the Braves felt they couldn’t wait any longer to get their first baseman in place. Either way, so much of the market was hung up on Olson/Freeman, so the avalanche could be coming any second.

UPDATE: And here’s the return.

In exchange for two years of control for Olson (both via arbitration), the Braves are giving up their No. 2 (Langeliers), No. 3 (Pache), No. 9 (Cusick), and No. 14 prospect (Estes), according to Baseball America. Pache’s stock as dropped a bit over the last year, but both he and Langeliers are top-100 types (50-100 range). Meanwhile, Cusick, 22, was the Braves first-round pick last season (24th overall) and Estes, 20, had a 2.91 ERA over 20 starts in his first try at A-ball last year.

That is a massive return in the current era, even for a player as good as Olson.

But let’s not glide over how good Olson is. Last season, he slashed .271/.371/.540 (146 wRC+), striking out just 16.8% of the time and earning 5.0 WAR. He’s also a two-time Gold Glover, received top-10 MVP votes in 2021, and is only just about to turn 28. He’ll also make just about $12.0M this season. But for the cash-flush Braves, you have to wonder if losing all those prospects *and* a franchise icon, Freeman, to save one extra year (or whatever it was).

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami