Freddie Freeman To Change Representation In Wake Of Return To Atlanta
Dodgers’ first baseman Freddie Freeman announced that he will no longer be represented by Excel Sports Management. According to reports, Freeman is still very upset with how free agency played out citing the mistakes his agent, Casey Close, made prior to the Matt Olson trade with the Oakland Athletics.
Reportedly, Freeman had no intention of leaving Atlanta during the offseason, however, in negotiations, Close essentially gave Braves president of operations Alex Anthopolous a time limit to accept a contract offer that exceeded Freeman’s expectations. He later received an update, which to his shock, indicated his time with Atlanta was over.
Freeman was drafted by the Braves in the second round of the 2007 draft. He later made his major league debut in September 2010. Since then, Freeman has won the Silver Slugger three times, a Gold Glove Award, a league MVP, and has been named an All-Star five times. Freeman was also an essential part of the 2021 World Series-winning Braves team.
In the offseason, Freeman signed a six-year, $162 million contract with the Dodgers. He has since been one of the more efficient hitters in the MLB, batting .304/.388/.488 splits with eight homers. The Dodgers recently traveled to Truist Park for a series against the Braves, marking Freeman’s return to Atlanta for the first time since his departure. Freeman’s re-introductory conference was emotional as he left momentarily after breaking down. He later said, “I was doing pretty good about an hour ago. I still love the Braves organization with all my heart. That will never change.”
Prior to the game, Freeman received his World Series ring while fans in the sold-out park chanted his name.
𝐍𝐨. 𝟓 𝐫𝐞𝐜𝐞𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐬 𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐖𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝 𝐒𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 🙏 pic.twitter.com/Wy1bmRJB9t
— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) June 24, 2022
Many perceive Freeman’s emotions to be indicative of his desire to still be an Atlanta Brave. Dodgers teammate Clayton Kershaw further added fuel to fire by saying, “He’s obviously been a big contributor for our team. And I hope we’re not second fiddle. It’s a pretty special team over here, too. I think whenever he gets comfortable over here, he’ll really enjoy it.”
Freeman however continues to affirm his commitment to his new team. “That time is over, 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,” Freeman said.