When Freddie Freeman left the Atlanta Braves and eventually landed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Freeman’s long history with the Braves caused shock within the industry.
Now Freeman has fired the agency that represented him in their off-season talks, Accel Sports Management, according to multiple sources. Casey Close, who was the lead agent in Freeman’s conversation with the Braves and Dodgers, did not immediately respond for comment.
In a statement to MLB.com, Freeman acknowledged that his situation with his agent is “fluid,” but did not confirm the firing.
“Last weekend in Atlanta was a very emotional time for me and my family,” Freeman told MLB.com. “I’m working through some issues with my long-time agents at Excel. My representation remains a fluid position and I’ll update if necessary.”
The MLB Players Association sent an email on behalf of Freeman to agents on Monday, ordering agents not to contact the player. This is common when players do not want to be surrounded by agents. Freeman is listed within baseball’s central system as being currently self-represented.
Freeman, 32, returned to Atlanta for the first time since signing with the Dodgers last weekend and was outwardly emotional, crying intermittently from the time he met with reporters before the start of the three-match series, when he was caught by the Braves. A standing ovation was given by. Fans near the end of Sunday Night Baseball.
Sources say Freeman hinted to some of his former teammates over the weekend that he was going to switch agents, given his frustration about the termination of his free agency in March.
The Braves made a five-year offer of $135 million, which was still on the table in the days before the owners’ lockout ended. As reported in March, Close — the lead negotiator for Accel — contacted Alex Anthopoulos, chief of baseball operations for the Braves, and made two offers on Freeman’s behalf, significantly more than that $135 million offer. There were more, giving the team an hour’s time. to answer. The Braves increased their offer to $140 million, not close to what Close was offering.
When that deadline passed, sources say, Close and Anthopoulos agreed that there was no offer on the table. The Braves — Believing that Close’s deadline meant Freeman was about to conclude a deal with another team, possibly the Dodgers, was quickly driven to a blockbuster deal for Oakland Athletics All-Star Matt Olsen And signed 27-year-old Olsson for one. Eight-year, $168 million contract. This effectively eliminated any chance for Freeman to return.
Freeman reached out to some of his former Braves teammates and expressed his surprise that their talks were going as they had. Within a week, Freeman was signed with the Dodgers for six years and $162 million, although the deal includes $57 million in deferred pay. That deal may, in the end, be worth less than the total value of the Braves offering, given the huge delays and California state taxes.
Freeman was initially critical of the Braves’ conduct of the negotiations. Next, Freeman talks with Anthopoulos about what happened during a conversation and apparently made his peace with the organization. He fully embraced last weekend’s celebrations, which included a ring presentation by his friend and former manager, Brian Snitker; Seeing Freeman’s spirit, Snitker encourages him to rest.
Freeman’s friends in the Braves organization admit that his weekend-long sentiment was, in part, tied to the anger and sadness that their conversations ended with him playing with a team other than the club, which saw him initially draft. was prepared. Freeman, long considered the face of the Braves franchise, won the MVP award in 2020 and last featured in the World Series Championship.