MLB Trade Rumors: Matt Olson, Oakland A’s first baseman, is being traded to the Atlanta Braves, per Jeff Passan on Twitter. That would seem to signal that Braves free agent Freddie Freeman is not returning to Atlanta, but will be signing elsewhere, with the Los Angeles Dodgers being the most likely candidate.
Olson, who turns 28 later this month, has two years of team control remaining, and was considered one of the top position players expected to be available on the trade market once the lockout ended. He put up a career best 911 OPS and 5.8 bWAR in 2021 while finishing eighth in the A.L. MVP balloting. He has won Gold Gloves at first base in 2018 and 2019.
No word yet on the price, but we will update when that is available.
Meanwhile, it appears that Freddie Freeman, the Braves’ homegrown star first baseman who suffered through the lean years before becoming one of the faces of their championship team, will be heading elsewhere. The speculation was that Atlanta would do what they needed to do to keep him, but after November came and went with no deal, there was talk that maybe he would be gone after all.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have been rumored to be the most aggressive team outside Atlanta pursuing Freeman, who is a native of Southern California.
UPDATE — Passan says that the A’s are getting Cristian Pache, Shea Langeliers, Ryan Cusick and Joey Estes in the deal.
Pache, 23, is the Braves’ version of Leody Taveras, an elite defensive center fielder who has not been able to hit at the upper levels. He was a consensus top 20 prospect heading into the 2021 season, but an awful stint in the majors, followed by a so-so stint at AAA, has resulted in his stock dropping, though he’s still a consensus top 100 guy.
Langeliers, 24, was the Braves’ first round pick out of Baylor in 2019, selected 9th overall. A catcher, Langeliers is another guy who is a consensus 51-100 prospect. He spent most of 2021 in AA, hitting .258/.338/.499.
Cusick, 22, is a righthanded pitcher who was the Braves’ first round pick in 2021, being selected #24 overall out of Wake Forest. Estes, 20, is a righthanded pitcher who had an impressive year at low-A for Atlanta in 2021.
Per BA, the A’s got two of the top three prospects in the Braves system, plus the #9 guy and the #14 guy. Not quite as big a return as I would have thought, but a pretty big haul nonetheless.