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.