Freddie Freeman’s former agent, Casey Close, is suing sports radio host Doug Gottlieb for a report suggesting he misled the All-Star first baseman during free agency.
After Freeman’s return to Atlanta, it became clear that he still had mixed feelings about leaving the Braves in the first place. This was bound to happen, as Freeman spent his entire career in the ATL up to that point, and is still adjusting to life as a Dodger.
The news that followed, however, was surprising. Freeman dropped his agent, Casey Close, and didn’t release much of a statement. In fact, MLBPA notified all agents not to speak to Freeman for the time being.
Gottlieb claimed Close misled Freeman in free agency, causing him to leave the Braves. Upon learning this during his Atlanta return, Freeman dropped Close as his agent (once again, per Gottlieb).
Close has responded by suing Gottlieb for libel, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
Braves: Freddie Freeman’s former agent sues Doug Gottlieb
In an immediate statement refuting Gottlieb’s report, Close claimed he communicated the Braves offers to Freeman upon receiving them. The decision to join the Los Angeles Dodgers was squarely on Freeman, and not a reflection of agency choice.
Close called out the Braves for what he considered creating a false narrative around the Freeman negotiations. While it feels like a lot of finger pointing, perhaps it’s another sign of a mistake Freeman can’t take back.
More than anything, this entire screenplay is a lesson for both the Braves and Freeman. For Freeman and future free agents, it’s important to make the end goal clear to those who represent them. If Freeman wanted to stay in Atlanta, he should have made that clear to his agency.
As for the Braves, keeping Freeman clearly wasn’t their top priority. Spreading rumors now isn’t a good look, especially considering those rumors involve a franchise icon.