Freddie Freeman was flawless in his debut at third base, although that meant merely fielding cleanly his one and only defensive chance in a rain-shortened rehab game Saturday for Triple-A Gwinnett in Charlotte.
The Braves slugger, who has played 935 games at first base for Wholesale NHL Jerseys Atlanta, fielded Everth Cabrera’s grounder and threw to first for the final out of the second inning.
“Just catch it and throw it and just try not to embarrass myself,” Freeman had said, laying out his mindset before Saturday’s game (via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution ). “I think if I make the routine plays, everything else is kind of gravy from there.”
Of course, there would likely be some apprehension from the Celtics’ side of the table. Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has been notoriously stingy when it comes to giving up anything of significant value to the point it sometimes feels like he’s on an episode of “Hoarders” with future draft picks trapping him inside of his bedroom. Would he be willing to give up players like Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart and/or one of his talented young forwards along with those coveted picks?
Gasol signed a five-year contract with the Grizzlies in 2015, but he has a player option after the 2018-19 season, allowing him to opt out of the deal and become a free agent ahead of the 2019-20 season. If the Celtics did acquire the 32-year-old All-Star, they would have two guaranteed years of Gasol on the team, plus a third year if he took that player option for roughly $25.5 million.
All of that is a long way down the road, but Mannix’s report lends credence to the fact that the Celtics feel there is a chance to close the gap on the Cavs and knock LeBron James off his Eastern Conference throne.