Atlanta Braves acquire slugging 1B Matt Olson from Oakland Athletics

Atlanta Braves acquire slugging 1B Matt Olson from Oakland Athletics

The Atlanta Braves have acquired star first baseman Matt Olson in a blockbuster trade signaling that the reigning World Series champs likely won’t re-sign franchise icon Freddie Freeman.

The Braves landed the highly coveted Olson from the Oakland Athletics for two of their top prospects — outfielder Cristian Pache and catcher Shea Langeliers — along with minor league pitchers Ryan Cusick and Joey Estes.

Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos acknowledged the magnitude of the franchise-altering deal Monday, saying during an emotional news conference that the trade was “the hardest transaction I’ve ever had to make.”

Olson, an Atlanta native and first-time All-Star last season, hit 39 home runs and drove in 111 runs with a slash line of .271/.371/.540 to lead Oakland in all major hitting categories.

The 27-year-old Olson, who is under contractual control for two more years, would have big shoes to fill in replacing Freeman, a free agent who has spent his entire 12-year career with the Braves.

Freeman, 32, batted .300 with 31 homers last season and helped lead the Braves to their first championship since 1995. The five-time All-Star and former National League MVP had been heavily linked to the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees as possible free-agent alternatives to Atlanta.

The trade also marks the latest move this offseason by the rebuilding Athletics, who also traded star pitcher Chris Bassitt to the New York Mets.

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Author: Shirley