The Los Angeles Dodgers’ first basemen Freddie Freeman has been reported by multiple sources to have fired his agent, Casey Close. Freeman himself didn’t confirm Close’s dismissal, saying that his status with his agent is “fluid”. Check out the top sports betting sites for betting on baseball.
“I am working through some issues with my longtime agents at Excel. My representation remains a fluid situation and I will update if needed,” he said to MLB.com.
Close is the lead agent from Excel Sports Management and represented Freeman in his offseason negotiations. He handled Freeman’s talks with the Atlanta Braves and the Dodgers.
After Freeman terminated his partnership with his agent, the MLB Players Association sent an email to the agents on Freeman’s behalf on Monday, stating an order not to contact Freeman. This is a common practice for the players when they do not want to be approached by agents.
Having spent the first 12 years of his career with the Braves, as well as winning a World Series with the Braves last season, Freeman eventually signed a six-year $162 million with the Dodgers in March.
In March, Close was said to contact Alex Anthopoulos, the head of baseball operations for the Braves, and gave two alternatives; a six-year, $175 million contract, with an average of a little more than $29 million a year, or a five-year, $165 million deal, an average of $33 million per season. The Braves were asked to choose either one and had an hour to respond.
The Braves made their offer of $135 million over five years available at the time, a part of the initial deal which Close helped negotiate for Freeman in 2014. Close eventually returned to the Braves with a counter offer and a deadline, which the Braves decided to decline.
“I only got one offer,” when Freeman was asked about the Braves. “The last formal offer I got was at the trade deadline. We countered and that was it.”
When the deadline passed, the sources said that Close and Anthopoulos came to a mutual agreement that the deal was off.
The Braves believed that this meant Freeman was about to seal the deal with another team, most likely the Dodgers. They quickly came up with a deal for Matt Olson, the All-Star from Oakland Athletics, and signed him up on a $168 million contract for eight years. As a result, Freeman lost any chances to return to the Braves.
Freeman said he was “blindsided” by the Olson trade at the time. “I think every emotion came across. I was hurt,” he said. Check out the best new sportsbooks for betting on baseball.
ESPN reported that he reached out to some of his former Braves teammates, who were surprised with how his negotiations had played out. Freeman won an MVP Award in 2022 and shared the World Series championship last fall. He was considered the face of the Braves for a long time.
The 32-yeard old was openly emotional when the first time he met with reporters before the three-game series began. At the time, the Braves gave him a standing ovation near the end of Sunday Night Baseball.
He eventually talked with Anthopoulos regarding what happened during the talks and apparently had made peace with the team. He attended the team ceremonies last weekend, which included a ring presentation from his former manager, Brian Snitker.
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