Freddie Freeman’s Former Agent, Casey Close, Sues Doug Gottlieb for Libel, Claims Radio Host ‘Defamed Him’

by Bryan Fyalkowski

Freddie Freeman’s former agent has sued radio host Doug Gottlieb for libel. Yep, that is a true sentence that actually exists.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Casey Close of Excel Sports Management has filed court documents alleging that Gottlieb defamed him in a tweet from back on June 29.

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 deal 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 Fires Agent After Emotional Return to Atlanta

Right before Gottlieb’s tweet, Freddie 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.

Gottlieb claimed Close actually never told Freeman about the Braves’ final offer. He said Close withheld it because he wanted Freeman to leave Atlanta for Los Angeles.

The day after Gottlieb’s tweet, Close put out a statement from the Excel Sports Management Twitter account to defend himself.

Close is definitely not messing around with his reputation on the line.