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After 12 seasons with the Atlanta Braves — fresh off a World Series title in 2021 — Freddie Freeman fled west to become a Los Angeles Dodger this past offseason.
Freeman, who signed a six-year, $162 million deal with Los Angeles, has reportedly fired Excel Agency, the agency which represented him in free agency negotiations, per ESPN’s Buster Olney.
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The MLBPA sent an email to agents on Freeman’s behalf Monday, notifying agents not to contact Freeman. Freeman is listed on baseball’s central system as currently being self-represented. Freeman issued the following statement in response to the report, via MLB.com’s Mark Bowman.
“Last weekend in Atlanta was a very emotional time for me and my family,” Freeman wrote. “I am working through some issues with my longtime agents at Excel. My representation remains a fluid situation and I will update if needed.”
Freeman, 32, made his return to Truist Park for the first time as a visiting player this past weekend. He was emotional ahead of Friday’s series opener against the Braves, at one point departing the press conference room to gather himself. Freeman would receive his World Series ring before the game — garnering a standing ovation from the Atlanta faithful.
Freeman is said to have been frustrated with the way negotiations went during the offseason, initially critical of the Braves’ handling of the process. In the days following the owner’s lockout coming to an end, Atlanta had a five-year, $135 million proposal on the table for Freeman.
Casey Close, the lead negotiator for Excel, contacted Alex Anthopoulos, the head of baseball operations for the Braves, and presented him with a couple proposals that were higher than what Atlanta had offered. Close gave the Braves an hour to respond. The deadline would pass without a deal and Atlanta quickly pivoted — making a trade with the Oakland Athletics for Matt Olson and inking him to an eight-year, $168 million deal.
Freeman’s deal with the Dodgers could end up being worth less than the total value of the Braves’ offer, due to deferrals and California’s state taxes. His deal with Los Angeles contains $57 million in deferred salary.
Freeman reportedly was in shock over the way negotiations played out and had reached out to his former Braves teammates to express his frustrations. Freeman has since reached out to Anthopoulos and made peace with the organization.
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The five-time All-Star and 2020 National League MVP has been his usual self despite the uniform change, slashing .304/.388/.488 with eight home runs and 46 RBIs through 72 games this season.
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