Freddie Freeman fires agents, ‘angry’ with free-agent talks: Report

On Friday, Freddie Freeman was in tears upon his first trip to Atlanta as a visiting player. On Tuesday, he reportedly fired the agents who oversaw his offseason departure from the Braves to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the first baseman cut ties with Excel Sports Management, which failed to reach an agreement with the Braves before Freeman signed as a free agent with the Dodgers. Per Olney, Freeman is “angry with how his free-agent negotiations played out.”

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

“Last weekend in Atlanta was a very emotional time for me and my family,” Freeman’s statement reads. “I am working through some issues with my longtime agents at Excel. My representation remains a fluid situation, and I will update if needed.”

Bowman confirmed that Freeman has filed paperwork to terminate his relationship with Excel Sports while stopping short of confirming that the agency had formally been terminated.

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

Would Freeman rather play for 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 big-league debut with the Braves in 2010 and played in Atlanta for 12 seasons, earning five All-Star bids and the 2020 NL MVP award. He helped lead the Braves to their first World Series victory since 1995 last season.

Freeman entered the offseason as a free agent, where talks with the Braves broke down. The Braves reportedly offered Freeman $ 135 million over five years shortly after the end of the offseason lockout. Per Olney, Freeman’s lead agent Casey Close responded with a “significantly higher” counteroffer. Atlanta reportedly responded by bumping the offer up to $ 140 million.

A deadline reportedly set by Excel passed, and the Braves moved on by trading for Oakland A’s first baseman Matt Olson and signing him to an eight-year, $ 168 million extension. The next day, Freeman signed a six-year, $ 162 million deal with the Dodgers that includes $ 57 million in deferred salary. Per 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 prior to joining Los Angeles. He fought through tears for the entire 16 minutes of his pregame news conference Friday after the Dodgers traveled to Atlanta for a three-game series. His emotions remained on display as Braves manager Brian Snitker presented him with his World Series ring alongside a chorus of “Freddie, Freddie, Freddie” from the sold-out Truist Park stands.

Per the Los Angeles Times, Freeman said Tuesday that he’s not concerned people who believe he wishes he was still 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 I spent half my life with, then that’s how they want to perceive me. That’s fine. I’m OK 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. And that’s what I’m going to continue to do.”

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