Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) waits during batting practice before a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Friday, June 24, 2022 in Atlanta.  (AP Photo/Dill Butch)

Freddie Freeman fires agents, ‘angry’ over talks with free agents: report

On Friday, Freddie Freeman was in tears on his first trip to Atlanta as a visiting player.

On Tuesday, he reportedly fired the agents who oversaw his offseason move from the Braves to the Los Angeles Dodgers. ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the first baseman severed ties with Excel Sports Management, which failed to reach an agreement with the Braves before Freeman signed as a free agent with the Dodgers. According to Olney, Freeman is “angry with the way his free agent negotiations have gone.”

After the report, Freeman described his portrayal as a “fluid” situation in a statement to Mark Bowman of MLB.com.

“Last weekend in Atlanta was a very emotional time for me and my family,” Freeman’s statement read. “I’m working through some issues with my long-serving agents at Excel. My representation remains a fluid situation and I will update as necessary.”

Bowman confirmed that Freeman had filed paperwork to end his relationship with Excel Sports while stopping before confirming that the agency had been officially terminated.

Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) waits during batting practice before a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Friday, June 24, 2022 in Atlanta.  (AP Photo/Dill Butch)

Freddie Freeman waits during batting practice before Friday’s game against the Braves. (AP Photo/Dill Butch)

Would Freeman prefer to play for the Braves?

Until his offseason departure, Freeman was the face of the Braves franchise that selected him in the second round of the 2007 MLB Draft. Freeman made his league debut with the Braves in 2010 and played in Atlanta for 12 seasons, earning five All-Star nominations and the 2020 NL MVP award. He helped the Braves earn their first World Series victory since 1995 last season.

Freeman entered the offseason as a free agent, where talks with the Braves fell through. The Braves reportedly offered Freeman $135 million over five years shortly after the offseason lockout ended. According to Olney, Freeman’s chief agent, Casey Close, responded with a “significantly higher” counteroffer. Atlanta reportedly responded by raising the offer to $140 million.

A deadline was reportedly set by Excel, and the Braves moved on by trading for Oakland A first baseman Matt Olson and signing him for an eight-year, $168 million extension. The next day, Freeman signed a six-year, $162 million contract with the Dodgers, which includes $57 million in deferred pay. According to Olney, the deferred money combined with higher California taxes could ultimately net Freeman less than the Braves’ offer.

Freeman’s emotional return to Atlanta

Meanwhile, Freeman has strong emotions for the only franchise he played for before joining Los Angeles. He fought back tears during the 16 minutes of his pregame press conference on Friday after the Dodgers traveled to Atlanta for a three-game series. His emotions remained on display when Braves manager Brian Snitker presented him with his World Series ring alongside a refrain of “Freddie, Freddie, Freddie” in the sold-out stands of Truist Field.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Freeman said Tuesday that he doesn’t care about people who think he still wants to be an Atlanta Brave.

“That time is over,” Freeman said. “I’m a Los Angeles Dodger now. If they want to perceive me, how I feel about an organization that I’ve spent half my life with, then that’s how they want to perceive me. That’s very good. I agree with that.

“But I’ve had three months. I’ve had time to grieve and do all my research and gather information. It’s time to move on and focus on the Dodgers. Am I going to keep doing that?”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.