Saturday September 23, 2023
The Best Employers in Sports Survey is Now Open!

Freddie Freeman Fires Excel, Who May Have Botched Braves Deal

  • Agent Casey Close reportedly did not disclose Atlanta's final offer to Freeman, who ended up in Los Angeles.
  • The Braves replaced Freeman with Matt Olson, who signed the largest contract in team history.
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Front Office Sports Today

How Rupert Murdoch Changed Sports Media Forever

As he steps down as chair of Fox and News Corp., we discuss his monumental and ongoing impact.
Listen Now
September 22, 2023 | Podcast
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

Freddie Freeman’s return to Atlanta was always going to be emotional — but very few could have foreseen the whirlwind of drama it would whip up.

Following the Dodgers’ series against the Braves last weekend, Freeman fired his agent, Excel Sports Management’s Casey Close, who reportedly didn’t disclose Atlanta’s final offer to Freeman, per Fox Sports’ Doug Gottlieb.

Gottlieb explains, “Freeman was unaware of how willing to play ball the Atlanta Braves were … He found out over the weekend just how close Atlanta had come in their final offer, called up Casey Close and said, ‘You didn’t tell me about this offer? You’re fired.’”

It’s the latest twist in a saga stretching back to last season that saw Freeman shockingly leave Atlanta when all indications pointed toward him being a lifelong Brave.

Here’s how we got here, per ESPN’s Buster Olney:

  • With his contract expiring, the Braves initially offered Freeman a five-year, $125M extension during the 2021 season, bumping it up to five years, $140M after the lockout.
  • Freeman and Close had insisted on a sixth year, so Close presented an ultimatum: six years/$175M or five years/$165M.
  • Atlanta rejected both offers, instead trading for Oakland’s Matt Olson and subsequently signing him to an eight-year, $168M contract — surpassing Freeman for the largest deal in team history.
  • Shortly after, Freeman signed a six-year, $165M pact with the Dodgers.

Now, we know that there was allegedly another deal on the table — which Freeman may have accepted had Close not interfered.

Close, of course, had a profit incentive to get Freeman a more lucrative deal — something the agent vehemently denies.

In a statement to FOS’ A.J. Perez, Close said, “Gottlieb tweeted a wholly inaccurate characterization of our negotiations with the Atlanta Braves on behalf of Freddie Freeman. We are immediately evaluating all legal options to address the reckless publication of inaccurate information.”

Freeman is having a typically productive, if less powerful, season. He has a .306 average — but his .486 slugging percentage is his lowest since 2015. The Dodgers (46-28) have the best record in the National League.

Olson, meanwhile, is batting .253 on .481 slugging, but leads the majors in doubles, and the red-hot Braves (44-32) now trail the Mets (47-29) by only three games in the NL East.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Royals Miss Self-Imposed Deadline To Select Stadium Site

Ongoing discussions with Jackson, Clay Counties prompt timetable shift

Rays Eye Much More Stable Future With Stadium Deal

Ballpark deal ends years of relocation rumors

MLB Expansion Potentially Draws Closer With Rays Ballpark Deal

Rays' stadium deal looks to solve long-running problem for MLB

Orioles’ Angelos Says Staying In Baltimore ‘A Given’

Reclusive Angelos conveys new confidence of new lease deal
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

How Rupert Murdoch Changed Sports Media Forever


Featured Today

Deion Sanders with The Rock on ESPN's "College GameDay."

Deion Sanders Generated $45M In Earned Media For Colorado

From Sept.1-22, Sanders generated $45.7M for the public university.
September 23, 2023

Up Next For College Football Playoffs: More Change, Money, And ... Streaming?

Many changes are coming to the CFP when it expands to 12 teams.
September 22, 2023

Warriors Stake Reportedly Up For Sale at $7B Valuation

A 10% stake in the franchise could cost $700 million.
September 22, 2023

Jaguars Threaten Move Without $1B From Jacksonville Taxpayers

The Jagaurs are hoping to renovate TIAA Bank Field for $2 billion.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Chicago Cubs
New York
Tri Star Sports and Entertainment Group, Inc.
USA - Multiple Locations

Eli Manning: Keep MetLife Field Turf

Eli Manning feels that MetLife Stadium should keep its artificial turf field.
Joe Burrow’s $275 million deal makes him the league’s highest-paid player, with an average annual salary of $55 million per year.
September 11, 2023

The 10 Highest-Paid NFL Quarterbacks

Burrow's $275M extension is second to Patrick Mahomes' Chiefs deal.
Travis Kelce
September 7, 2023

Travis Kelce Talks Positional Values, Players Sports Betting Ahead of NFL Season

Kelce says tight ends should be paid off of production metrics.
Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is by far the NFL's highest paid player for this season.
September 7, 2023

The 25 Highest-Paid NFL Players for 2023

Lamar Jackson will make almost double the second-highest paid player.
September 6, 2023

Mahomes Creating New Model For Athlete Investments

Two-time champion building extensive sports investment portfolio
Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Haason Reddick (7) against the Kansas City Chiefs during Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium.
September 6, 2023

Reddick: Inside Linebacker Pay Going In ‘Right Direction’

Haason Reddick is glad that inside linebackers are hitting new salary heights.
August 31, 2023

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Sports Empire Is Only Getting Bigger

NBA superstar's investment in TGL team expands business portfolio
Giannis Antetokounmpo and his brothers have invested in LAGC, the TGL golf team owned by the Williams sisters and Alexis Ohanian.
August 30, 2023

Giannis Antetokounmpo Invests in TGL’s Los Angeles Golf Club

LAGC is owned by Alexis Ohanian, Serena, and Venus Williams.