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STOVE: Matt Olson Is Headed to Atlanta to Replace Freddie Freeman

Wow. I was pretty sure Freddie Freeman wasn't coming back, but it's still shocking to see in print. The Atlanta Braves will have Matt Olson starting at first base on Opening Day.

Atlanta traded its Nos. 1, 2, 6 and 14 prospects to the Oakland A's in exchange for 28-year-old Olson, who still has two years of control before he becomes a free agent in 2024. Giving up Pache and Langeliers, even without the two pitchers, is a ton, but I suppose Olson is the kind of guy you give up that kind of package for. It's definitely a haul, though.

Obviously, the Braves could have just paid Freddie Freeman and not given up any prospect capital to have an All-Star first baseman for the next five or six years. They chose to go in a different direction.

As weird as it's going to be to see Freeman playing for another franchise in 2022, he didn't owe Atlanta anything. He won a World Series and if the Braves weren't providing offers competitive with what other teams were, he should go where he can get paid what he's worth. My only hope is that regardless of where he goes, Freeman will still be as beloved by Braves fans after his career as he is right now. He's one of the best players in franchise history and should be remembered as such.

At the end of the day, the Braves' lineup is still disgusting. Whenever Ronald Acuña Jr. returns, I'd put it right there with the best in baseball. Olson had a .911 OPS, 39 HR and 111 RBI in 2021 and is going to rake at Truist Park — don't forget Marcell Ozuna also returns to DH every night. This team will launch dingers.

Whenever the Freddie news hits, though, it's going to be really weird. Just please don't go to the Dodgers.