Agent Casey Close strongly denied a tweet from Fox Sports radio host Doug Gottlieb that he withheld from Freddie Freeman the Braves’ final contract offer and said he is considering legal action over the report.
In a statement to Sports Illustrated on Wednesday night, Close said, “There is no truth whatsoever to what Doug Gottlieb recklessly tweeted, and I would testify to that under oath. We are currently evaluating all legal options in this matter.”
In a tweet Wednesday, Gottlieb said Close “never told Freddie Freeman about the Braves [sic] final offer, that is why Freeman fired him. He found out in Atlanta this weekend. It isn’t that rare to have happen in MLB, but it happened – Close knew Freddie would have taken the ATL deal.”
The Braves reportedly offered Freeman $140 million over six years in March. When talks stalemated, Atlanta pivoted to trade for A’s first baseman Matt Olson, who they quickly signed to an eight-year, $168 million extension. Days later, Freeman signed with the Dodgers for six years and $162 million, with $57 million deferred. The players association values its net present value at about $148 million.
Freeman returned to Atlanta last weekend for the first time since leaving the Braves.
Freeman’s relationship with Close appears to be at least on pause. In response to an ESPN report that Freeman fired Close, Freeman released a statement Tuesday that stopped short of acknowledging he ended that relationship.
“Last weekend in Atlanta was a very emotional time for me and my family,” Freeman said in his statement. “I am working through some issues with my longtime agents at Excel. My representation remains a fluid situation and I will update if needed.”
When asked by reporters about Gottlieb’s report before Wednesday’s game, Freeman declined to comment.
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