Freddie Freeman's first trip back to Atlanta as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers has resulted in a shocking amount of drama. Freeman was welcomed back with open arms, which was no surprise. But then he fired Casey Close, lead agent of Excel Sports Management, immediately after the series ended. Freeman tweeted out a statement about how it was an emotional time, but it isn't hard to read between the lines and think that Freeman realized just how unhappy he was to not be with the Braves anymore after returning to his old stomping grounds. The fact that he fired Close suggests Freeman has put the blame on the agency.
Freeman leaving Atlanta this past offseason was unforeseen, to say the least, but consensus opinion placed blame on the organization rather than the player. The Braves finally won the World Series and then got cheap on their home-grown All-Star. We've seen that story play out many times before in Major League Baseball history. But how everything went down last weekend has made everybody rethink that position and believe there may be more to this story.
That is how we find ourselves here as Fox Sports radio host Doug Gottlieb alleged Close blew the Braves negotiations for Freeman by neglecting to report their final offer.
In response, Close threatened legal action. Which is an uncommon development, we'll say, when it comes to the scoop game.
It feels unlikely this will amount to anything for two reasons. One, it seems like a tall task to prove definitively that Gottlieb knew the information was incorrect and chose to spread it anyway. Two, it would force Close to engage in "discovery," which is law mumbo-jumbo for he'd have to prove to the court that negotiations didn't go that way and in the process revealing to the world at large how he negotiates. Regardless of whether Close has anything to had, it's not exactly great business practice to give everybody a peek into his negotiation strategy.
Therefore, Close will have to decide if it's worth doing that to go after Gottlieb. We'll see about that.