NORTH PORT, Fla. - Longtime Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman made an unquestionable impact in 12 seasons in Atlanta: earning National League Most Valuable Player honors in 2020, making five All-Star Game appearances and slugging five home runs during the team's 2021 postseason run.
Freeman's time making highlights for the Braves is likely over after the club traded four prospects to the Oakland Athletics for first baseman Matt Olson.
Players in North Port, Florida, said the day following the trade his presence would be missed in the clubhouse.
For some players, the absence of Freeman's family — his wife, Chelsea and their three children — will leave the biggest void.
"It's the little things that I'll remember more-so that what's on the field," catcher Travis d'Arnaud said.
Shortstop Dansby Swanson and second baseman Ozzie Albies have played their entire young careers under Freeman's tutelage.
"He's one of the guys we're never going to forget here," Albies said.
Swanson advocated for the Braves to re-sign Freeman. He's frustrated and disappointed, but optimistic about the future of the team, which just acquired a slugging bat to fill Freeman's role.
"It always comes down to business and none of us like it, but at the end of the day, it kind of has to be that way," Swanson said.