After breaking out as an MVP candidate in 2013, Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman will now be paid like one. The 24-year-old slugger has reached an eight-year, $135 million contract extension with Atlanta, keeping him in a Braves uniform through 2021.
Freeman will earn $16.9 million in average annual value, making him the highest paid player on the Braves. The contract is also the highest ever awarded by the organization.
Freeman has been good since entering the league in 2010, he finished second in Rookie of the Year voting in 2011. But 2013 was certainly his breakout year as he earned an All-Star nod and placed fifth in MVP voting.
Freeman raised his batting average by 60 points last season, all the way up to .319. He also held an .897 OPS, hit 23 home runs and drove in 109 RBI, second most in the National League.
The Braves let Brian McCann and Tim Hudson walk in free agency this winter, two players who helped define the franchise for a decade. Now it looks like Freeman will carry that torch.