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Freddie Freeman played his first World Series game in Atlanta on Friday. He might be playing his last one tonight.

The 32-year-old cornerstone of the Atlanta franchise is poised to enter free agency after the series ends.

“It’s all I’ve ever known,” Freeman said on Friday of his tenure with Atlanta, where he made his major league debut in 2010. “But it is a little weird that by next Sunday, Monday, I could be a free agent.”


But, he added, “I think everyone in this room knows I want to stay here.”

Atlanta has made clear that it would like to retain Freeman, who in 2014 signed an eight-year deal valued at $135 million. The winner of the National League’s Most Valuable Player Award in 2020, Freeman has a .295 career average and 271 home runs to his name. And at 6 feet, 5 inches, his stretches from first base, where he won a Gold Glove in 2018, have spared Atlanta plenty of errors.

“He means a lot to this franchise, to me personally, to our organization, to that clubhouse, our team,” Brian Snitker, Atlanta’s manager, said on Friday. “There isn’t a way to quantify it — just what he brings is so important.”


Although Chipper Jones famously played his entire career in an Atlanta uniform, the franchise has also seen other celebrated players slip away.

The stars of the Atlanta rotation in the 1990s — Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and John Smoltz — all played elsewhere, at least for a spell, after their biggest years as Braves. (Glavine, who went to the Mets for five seasons, returned to Atlanta for his final year. Smoltz spent the 2009 season with Boston and St. Louis before retiring. Both are wearing Atlanta caps on their Hall of Fame plaques.)


Brian McCann, a seven-time All-Star, left Atlanta after the 2013 season, played for the Yankees and the Astros, and then came back to Atlanta for his final year. And, of course, Hank Aaron played his final two seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Snitker said he “absolutely” wanted Freeman to remain with Atlanta. There was a catch, though.

“I also know this is a business,” he said, “and things happen.”

Freeman, for his part, said he had not spent time envisioning playing anywhere else. His focus, he said, was the World Series.

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