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Freddie Freeman, seemingly upset with free-agency process, reportedly terminates agents

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The Dodgers' Freddie Freeman's reaction when he was presented with the Braves World Series championship ring.
The Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman’s reaction to being presented with the Braves World Series championship ring on June 24 in Atlanta. (Butch Dill/Associated Press)

Freddy Freeman He reportedly filed paperwork to end his relationship with his longtime agents at Excel Sports Management, saying in a statement that his “representation remains volatile” just three months after he signed a six-year, $162 million contract with the Dodgers.

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Earlier Tuesday afternoon, ESPN reported that Freeman was planning to change representation.

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According to a person with knowledge of the situation, who was not authorized to speak on the record, MLB Players Assn. sent out an email to all agents asking them not to contact Freeman, a procedure that usually happens after a player changes views.

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In his statement which was provided by MLB.comFreeman said he was “fixing some issues with my longtime agents in Excel” and that he would “update [the situation] if needed.”

The move served as the latest sign that Freeman was apparently unhappy with the way his free agency had unfolded pre-season, with the longtime Atlanta Braves star unable to secure a new contract with his old team despite his publicly stated desire to stay in Atlanta. .

During the off-season, the industry expected Freeman to re-sign with the Braves. Even the Dodgers, who quietly courted him before the 99-day MLB lockout, weren’t initially optimistic about poaching the former MVP.

But when free agency resumed after the lockout ended in March, negotiations between the Braves and the Freeman camp quickly fell apart.

The crux of the aftermath was the March 12 deadline that Freeman’s agents at Excel gave to the Braves. According to ESPN report at the timeThe Braves offered a deal for five years and $140 million, to which Freeman’s agents responded with two counteroffers, one for five years and the other for six years, both for significantly more money.

Both sides failed to find a middle ground. And two days later, the Braves acquired All-Star first baseman Matt Olson from the Oakland Athletics, effectively eliminating any chance of Freeman returning to the only club he ever played for.

After signing with the Dodgers on March 16 — in a deal that included $57 million in deferred payments, giving it a current value of just over $148 million — Freeman expressed dissatisfaction with the Braves during his introductory press conference with the Dodgers.

He said the deal with Olson “dazzled him”, claiming he still believed up until that point that he would return to Atlanta.

He noted that the Braves only contacted him directly twice in the entire process, lamenting that “there was no communication when we got through the off-season.”

He even seemed to question the sincerity of Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos’ tearful reaction earlier that week over the franchise’s apparent loss of first baseman.

“The last week has been a bit of a whirlwind,” Freeman said at the time. But right now, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

However, in the three months since then, Freeman’s view of the free agency process seems to have changed.

He had a three-hour FaceTime with Anthopoulos in which “he made his point and I listened,” Freeman said. “And that was the closure I needed.”

He spoke enthusiastically about his time with the Braves during emotional return to Atlanta last weekendcried several times at the reception he received from his old club.

And, while he didn’t offer many details as he mused on his free agency, his stance on the Braves seems to have softened since the spring, while his dissatisfaction with his agents appears to have skyrocketed.

“I know a lot of people don’t know exactly what happened and I’m not going to put it in quotes and in the media, I’m just not here to do this PR,” he said. “I spoke to the people I needed to talk to after everything went wrong. My wife and I are calm. If you think about the past, it will only affect your happiness in the present and future. That’s where we stopped.”

Freeman added: “You can’t change anything about what happened. All you can do is learn from experience. And I definitely learned a lot.”

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.


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