On Friday, Freddy Freeman was in tears on his first trip to Atlanta as a visiting player.
On Tuesday, he reportedly fired the agents who oversaw his off-season departure from the Braves to the Los Angeles Dodgers. ESPN’s Buster Olney reports That first major man cut ties with Excel Sports Management, which failed to reach an agreement with the Braves before he signed Freeman as a free agent with the Dodgers. Per Olney, Freeman “furious at the way the free-agent negotiations took place”.
After the report, Freeman described his acting as a “flexible” situation in Statement by Mark Bowman from MLB.com.
“This past weekend in Atlanta was a very emotional time for me and my family,” Freeman said in a statement. “I’m working on some issues with my old proxies in Excel. My representation is still a flexible situation, and I’ll update if needed.”
Bowman confirmed that Freeman submitted papers to terminate his relationship with Excel Sports while stopping short of confirming an official termination of the agency.
Does Freeman prefer playing for Braves?
Until his off-season departure, Freeman was the face of the Braves franchise selected in the second round of the 2007 MLB Draft. Freeman made his major league debut with the Braves in 2010 and played for Atlanta for 12 seasons, receiving five All-Star performances and a 2020 NL MVP award . Help lead the Braves to their first World Championship win since 1995 last season.
Freeman entered the off-season as a free agent, as talks with the Braves broke down. The Braves reportedly offered Freeman $135 million over five years shortly after the season’s shutdown ended. Bear Olney, Freeman’s lead agent, Casey Close, responded with a “much higher” counter offer. Atlanta reportedly responded with an offer of up to $140 million.
The deadline Excel had reportedly set has passed, and the Braves go through trading with Oakland’s first policeman, Matt Olson, and his signature on For eight years, 168 million. The next day, Freeman signed a six-year, $162 million deal with the Dodgers that includes $57 million in deferred salary. For 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 feelings about the one franchise he played for before joining Los Angeles. He fought back in tears for the full 16 minutes of his pre-game press conference on Friday after the Dodgers traveled to Atlanta for a three-game series. His emotions remained palpable as Braves manager Brian Snitker presented him with the World Championship ring along with the “Freddie, Freddie, Freddie” chorus from the sold-out Truist Field stands.
In the Los Angeles Times, Freeman said Tuesday that he doesn’t care about people who think he wishes he was still a brave Atlanta.
“Time is up,” Freeman said. “I’m a Los Angeles Dodger now. If they want to see me, and how do I feel about an organization I’ve spent half my life with, that’s how they want to look at me. That’s fine. I’m OK with that.”
“But I had three months. I had time to grieve and do all my research and gathering information. It was time to move on and focus on the Dodgers. And that’s what I will continue to do.”