Ex-Freddie Freeman’s agent claims Braves present ‘false narrative’ over contract offer


The Los Angeles Dodgers star’s former agent Freddie Freeman says the Atlanta Braves presented a “false narrative” about the first baseman’s split in March.

“I will not sit idly by as the circumstances surrounding Freddie Freeman’s departure from Atlanta are misunderstood,” Excel Sports Management agent Casey Close said in a statement Thursday.

Freeman was in tears and could barely speak as he spoke to reporters in Atlanta last week, his first trip back to the city where he had played his entire career before leaving for the West Coast. He was warmly received by Braves fans. He helped the team win the World Series last season and received his ring from Braves manager Brian Snitker.

Freeman’s return came at the same time he apparently fired Excel as a management team. Asked about it, he described the relationship as “fluid”.

The Braves and Freeman had negotiated a new contract after the end of the 2021 season. They failed to reach an agreement and Freeman filed for free agency but did not sign before baseball went into lockdown -out of work on December 1, causing the roster to freeze.

In mid-March, the Braves acquired All-Star first baseman Matt Olson in a trade from Oakland. Three days later, Freeman signed a six-year, $162 million contract with the Dodgers.

Freddie Freeman gets emotional as he is introduced to the crowd before the game against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on June 24, 2022. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

FREDDIE FREEMAN’S AGENT WITHHOLDED ‘RELEVANT INFORMATION’ ABOUT THE BRAVE OFFER, FOX SPORTS RADIO HOST REPORTS

On Wednesday, FOX Sports Radio host Doug Gottlieb said he was told the final offer the Braves made to Freeman was “close” to the offer made by Los Angeles, and that his agency never told him about the Atlanta offer.

“He found out over the weekend how close Atlanta was to their final offer, called Casey Close and said, ‘You didn’t tell me about that offer? You’re fired,'” Gottlieb said during “The Doug Gottlieb Show” on FOX Sports Radio.

Gottlieb said that, according to “very good sources in the business,” Close thought there were better opportunities with the Dodgers.

“And that’s why he never told her,” Gottlieb said.

Freeman declined to comment Wednesday on Gottlieb’s tweet reporting that Freeman fired Close because he didn’t tell him about the Braves’ final contract offer in March.

“Doug Gottlieb tweeted a grossly inaccurate characterization of our negotiations with the Atlanta Braves on behalf of Freddie Freeman. We are immediately evaluating all legal options to deal with the reckless release of inaccurate information,” Close said in a statement. Wednesday.

Close said the Braves have also perpetuated a story about contract negotiations that is false.

“Part of this false narrative is the suggestion that I failed to communicate a contract offer to the Freemans,” Close said in the statement. “To be clear, we have communicated every offer that has been made, as well as every communication Excel has had with the Braves organization throughout the process.”

Freeman expressed no regrets last week about signing with the Dodgers, though his outpouring of emotion caught the attention of his new teammates.

“It’s something that Freddie has to deal with, but it’s certainly been talked about more in our clubhouse,” manager Dave Roberts said on Thursday.

In the statement, Close highlighted his 30-year career in baseball and his reputation for integrity and honesty.

“I have always operated with the utmost character,” he said. “We always put the goals and interests of the player first and will always continue to do so.”

The Dodgers returned from a nine-game road trip early Thursday and didn’t have batting practice before hosting the San Diego Padres. Freeman was unavailable to speak to reporters.

The full statement from Excel Sports on behalf of Close is below:

I will not sit idly by as the circumstances surrounding Freddie Freeman’s departure from Atlanta are mixed. Since March, the Braves have nurtured a narrative about the negotiations that, plainly stated, is false. Part of the false narrative is the suggestion that I failed to communicate a contract offer to the Freemans. To be clear, we have communicated every offer that has been made, as well as every communication Excel has had with the Braves organization throughout the process. I have a reputation for integrity and honesty for 30 years in this business, and have always operated with the highest character. At Excel, we are privileged to represent many exemplary athletes, some of whom have chosen to spend their entire careers with one franchise. We always put the goals and interests of the player first and will always continue to do so.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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