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HomeSportDerek Jeter defends Freddie Freeman’s fired agent amid controversy

Derek Jeter defends Freddie Freeman’s fired agent amid controversy


Casey Close has The Captain in his corner.

Derek Jeter issued a statement Thursday in support of Dodgers star Freddie Freeman’s now-former agent, calling Close a “trusted advisor and friend” who values honesty and transparency “above all else.”

“I have known Casey since I was 18,” Jeter began on Twitter. “Over the last 30 years, we have had our share of differences of opinion, but to this day, he remains a trusted advisor and friend. He is a man who values morals, integrity and above all else honesty and transparency.”

Jeter’s statement follows a messy series of events that have played out publicly this past week. In the days following Freeman’s emotional return to Atlanta — where he spent the first 12 years of his career — ESPN reported Tuesday that the first baseman fired his representation after allegedly telling friends he was “angry” with how his free-agency negotiations played out.

Derek Jeter spoke out in support of Casey Close on Thursday amid recent controversy.
Derek Jeter spoke out in support of Casey Close on Thursday amid recent controversy.
Getty Images

Freeman, who signed a six-year, $162 million deal with the Dodgers in March, was represented by Excel Sports Management, with Close serving as the lead negotiator.

“Last weekend in Atlanta was a very emotional time for me and my family,” Freeman said Tuesday in a statement. “I am working through some issues with my longtime agents at Excel. My representation remains a fluid situation and I will update if needed.”

Later in the week, Fox Sports radio host Doug Gottlieb tweeted an allegation as to why Freeman fired Close.

Derek Jeter called Casey Close "a trusted advisor and friend" in a message shared on Twitter.
Derek Jeter called Casey Close “a trusted advisor and friend” in a message shared on Twitter.
Getty Images

“Casey Close never told Freddie Freeman about the Braves final offer, that is why Freeman fired him,” Gottlieb wrote Wednesday. “He found out in Atlanta this weekend. It isn’t that rare to have happen in MLB, but it happened – Close knew Freddie would have taken the ATL deal.”

Close was quick to clap back at Gottlieb’s claims, swiftly denying the rumors in a statement of his own.

“There is no truth whatsoever to what Doug Gottlieb recklessly tweeted, and I would testify to that under oath,” Close said. “We are currently evaluating all legal options in this matter.”

Excel Sports Management released its own statement Wednesday and followed it up Thursday with a lengthier message on behalf of Close, which Jeter quote-tweeted in his message.

“I will not stand by as the circumstances surrounding Freddie Freeman’s departure from Atlanta are mischaracterized,” read the statement, which also accused the Braves of fostering “a narrative about the negotiations which, stated plainly, is false.”

Freeman said in March that he only got one formal offer from the Braves was at the trade deadline. He ultimately landed with the Dodgers after the Braves traded for Athletics first baseman Matt Olson, who signed with Atlanta on an eight-year, $168 million extension.

Last month, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reported that Close contacted the Braves president of baseball operations, Alex Anthopoulos, in March and “gave him two requests that far exceeded Freeman’s expectations and said the Braves had an hour to respond.”

Dodgers star Freddie Freeman fired his representation this week.
Dodgers star Freddie Freeman fired his representation this week.
Getty Images

Freeman reportedly looked at the proposal to the Braves as an ultimatum, though his representation allegedly contended it was nothing of that regard. In the wake of the Olson trade, Freeman said he was “blindsided” by the move.

In his first season with the Dodgers, Freeman is hitting .304 with nine home runs and 46 RBIs.



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