Fredi Gonzalez says Freddie Freeman will be a Brave next season

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The other night rumors circulated that the Braves were considering trading first baseman Freddie Freeman. While that seemed somewhat far-fetched — Freeman is the Braves’ best hitter, he is under a reasonable long term deal and the team is starved of offense — the Braves have traded a lot of players once thought off-limits in the past year or two.

Today Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez took to the airwaves and shot those rumors down:

 

Probably worth noting here that front offices do themselves no favors if they telegraph their moves in public. Indeed, just last January team President John Hart said that the club had no plans to trade Craig Kimbrel and he was gone before Opening Day. It was a decent deal for the Braves, perhaps in part because they made it seem like they really didn’t want to part with him. That’s how negotiation works.

For this reason — and, as the Kimbrel example shows — you can’t take an executive’s public pronouncements about a player at face value. So, while Gonzalez’s words sound pretty emphatic, and while it makes far more sense for Freeman to remain with the Braves than to be traded, remember that things can always change. All it takes is one phone call and the right offer.

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

albert pujols
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ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.

Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.

The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.

The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.

Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.

Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).