Freddie Freeman’s former agent is not happy about what he says is a “false narrative” circulating around Major League Baseball. Casey Close put out a statement from the Excel Sports Management Twitter account, defending himself and his reputation.
Close handled Freeman’s contract negotiation between the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers this offseason. The 32-year-old first baseman was one of the most attractive free agents available after the MLB lockout ended. He had spent his entire career to that point with the Braves after they drafted him way back in 2007.
To make a long story short, Atlanta offered Freeman as much as $140 million over five years, but Close insisted on a six-year for his client. The Dodgers came in with a six-year, $162 million offer and Freeman accepted.
The Braves then turned around and traded a handful of prospects to the Oakland Athletics for first baseman Matt Olson. They immediately negotiated an eight-year, $168 million deal with the 28-year-old Atlanta native to take over as the franchise’s first baseman.
Freddie Freeman’s Emotional Return to Atlanta
Last week, Freeman returned to Truist Park for the first time as a Dodger. It was very emotional for him. Not only that, but during the series, he fired Close as his agent. Sources told ESPN’s Buster Olney that Freeman was upset about how Close handled the offseason negotiations, and that led to the change.
Close did not put out his fiery statement for that, however. It was because Doug Gottlieb (yes, THAT Doug Gottlieb) tweeted that Close actually never told Freeman about the Braves’ final offer. Gottlieb said Close withheld it because he wanted Freeman to leave Atlanta for Los Angeles.
So far with the Dodgers, Freeman is hitting well in line with his career averages. According to Fangraphs, his 3.0 WAR at the midway point of the season is on pace for 6.0. That would be the second-highest output of his entire career.
Los Angeles leads the NL West with a 47-28 record, while the Braves sit second in the NL East with a 44-33 mark. The move has worked out well for him so far, career-wise, but do you think Freddie Freeman is regretting his big deal? It may seem that way.