The Braves have finally made a significant offseason move. Jon Morosi reports that the team and first baseman Freddie Freeman have agreed to a multi-year extension: 8 years, $125 million. Freeman hit .319/.396/.501 with a 150 wRC+ and 4.8 fWAR in 2013.
An extension of this scale is an interesting gamble for the Braves. At the age of 24, Freeman likely still has room to improve, and given the team's crippling TV contract, it makes sense for them to invest their resources into locking up their above-average, young talent.
However, the question remains as to how good Freeman actually is. Freeman's 2013 was aided by a .371 batting average on balls in play. Even if you account for a 26.7 percent line drive rate with a relatively low 38.2 percent groundball rate, it's still a number that's likely to regress in 2014. Freeman's 2013 also comes after two good, not great years in 2011 (.282/.346/.448, 120 wRC+) and 2012 (.259/.340/.456).
Regardless, the market value for players, especially good young players, is rising every year, so if the Braves are convinced Freeman is the real deal, extending him now is wise.