Report: Yankees ‘very interested’ in Freddie Freeman, but have big competition from AL East rival

freddie freeman, yankees

This off-season, the New York Yankees have to make a big decision at first base, especially with Anthony Rizzo hitting free agency after just acquiring him at the trade deadline from the Chicago Cubs. Reports did indicate that Rizzo could re-sign with Chicago, leaving the Yankees in a bind.

General manager Brian Cashman has refrained from spending big money at first base in recent years, but the team was reportedly interested in Atlanta Braves star 1B Freddie Freeman before the lockout commenced.

However, the Yankees were the only team intrigued by his services, considering he recently won a World Series and posted incredible numbers in Atlanta.

According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Yankees are very interesting Freeman, but they will have to battle the Rays for him:

Sources: The low-revenue Tampa Bay Rays made superstar Freddie Freeman an offer before the lockout. Yankees very interested. Jays, Dodgers, others could fit. It’s a surprise Braves didn’t lock him up before lockout; they remain in mix.
The small-market Rays haven’t been big spenders in free agency, but with a team built through development and youth progress, they feel as though this is their time to shine and make a run at the World Series. Spending a bit of money to improve several positions could go a long way, having already signed starting pitcher Corey Kluber.
Freeman finished the 2021 season hitting .300 with 31 homers and 83 RBIs. He also tallied a 15.4% strikeout rate and 12.2% walk rate. Given his impeccable patience and slugging power, the Yankees would love to have him within their ranks, reducing their strikeout rate just a smidge.
However, Freeman is going to land a massive contract worth six years, $150+ million. Tampa Bay may not be able to offer him the money he seeks, but the Yankees have a history of overspending, and he may be able to swindle them for a monster contract, even though Aaron Judge’s big deal is impending.