The Braves stepped up and anointed their new face of the franchise Freddie Freeman when they signed him to an eight year contract through the year 2021. As Nats fans this means we will be seeing a lot of this mug for then next decade.
For the sake of off-season hijinks lets compare the the Nationals traditional Face of the Franchise Ryan Zimmerman to Mr. Freeman (I say traditional, because it is very quite possible that Bryce has supplanted Zim due to national exposure)
There are some similarities between the two players. They both broke into the league at the same age, and both play corner infield positions. Where they differ is in their all around game. Zim is above average in all aspects of the game according to WAR above league average in running, fielding, and obviously hitting and playing a premium position at 3rd. Freeman, on the other hand is below league average in running, fielding and plays the least challenging position on the field.
As an aside, the Freeman contract is generally reported incorrectly as a 8 year 135 M cont with an AAV of 16.5 M. It is actually a 5 year contract because the team already had him under contract for the next 3 years. It was projected that Freeman would probably (based on arbitration tables) get about 28M over the next 3 years, so the contract works out to 107M over 5 or 21.5 million annual average for his free agent years.
Back to comparing FoFs. Lets compare both players first 3 years in the league. Both were called up in September before their rookie year, so I included that data also. To put perspective in the players performance I also added the current 2014 WAR dollar value 5.45M.
Even with Zimmerman missing 1/3 the season due to injury his year three, it is very clear that Freeman is no Ryan Zimmerman. In case you wondered Zim in year 4 and 5 put up back to back 6.8 WAR 37M dollar seasons. Your move Freeman.