Casey Close is here to set the record straight.
Former cop for Los Angeles Dodgers star Freddie Freeman issued a scathing statement criticizing the… Atlanta Braves on Thursday, two days after Freeman reportedly fired him. Close released the statement through his Excel Sports agency, accusing the Braves of fostering “a false story” about the negotiations leading up to Freeman’s departure from the Braves in free-choice.
“I will not stand by as the circumstances surrounding Freddie Freeman’s departure from Atlanta have been mischaracterized,” the statement said. “Since March, the Braves have nurtured a story about the negotiations that, quite clearly, is false.”
Close went on to write that the “false story” suggests he failed to communicate an offer from the Braves to Freeman when their contract talks failed.
Ongoing drama surrounding the departure of Freeman’s Braves
Freeman played the first 12 seasons of his MLB career with the Braves, making five All-Star teams, winning the 2020 NL MVP award and a 2021 World Series. He left for the Dodgers in the offseason as a free agent after the Braves traded for Oakland A’s All-Star first baseman Matt Olson. He made an emotional return to Atlanta last weekend for a Dodgers-Braves series. He was in tears during a pregame press conference and World Series ring presentation.
Freeman reportedly has Close . laid off and Excel Sports on Tuesday amid reported details about the breakdown in contract talks. ESPN’s Buster Olney reported: that the Braves initially offered Freeman $135 million over five years and responded to Close’s “significantly higher” counter-offer by increasing the offer to $140 million. According to the report, Close set a deadline for the Braves to respond, and the Braves let the deadline pass before going to Olson.
On Wednesday, Doug Gottlieb – a radio host who talks about college basketball – tweeted that Close never communicated Atlanta’s latest offer to Freeman and that was the reason Freeman fired him. Gottlieb is not an established baseball reporter.
Close released a statement shortly after Gottlieb’s tweet denying the claim and threatening legal action:
“Doug Gottlieb, on behalf of Freddie Freeman, tweeted a completely inaccurate description of our negotiations with the Atlanta Braves,” the statement read. “We are immediately evaluating all legal options to address the reckless publication of false information.”
Then came Thursday’s statement from Close blaming the Braves for fomenting a false story.
“To be clear, we’ve communicated every offer, as well as every communication Excel has had with the Braves organization throughout the process,” continued Close. “I have a 30-year reputation for integrity and honesty in this industry, and I have always worked with the greatest character.
It is not clear where Gottlieb claims to have gotten his information. Freeman declined to comment on Gottlieb’s tweet on Wednesday.