One of MLB’s most bizarre stories of the season continues to add twist after twist.
After Fox Sports radio host Doug Gottlieb tweeted an alleged bombshell about why Dodgers star Freddie Freeman abruptly fired Casey Close, the MLB agent completely shut down Gottlieb’s claim.
“Casey Close never told Freddie Freeman about Braves’ latest offer, so Freeman fired him,” Gottlieb said. wrote† “He found out this weekend in Atlanta. It’s not that rare for it to happen in MLB, but it did – Close knew Freddie would have taken the ATL deal. †
Close responded Wednesday with a statement.
“There is no truth whatsoever in 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 – Close’s agency – has released a statement of its own.
“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.”
Gottlieb expanded his tweet during “The Doug Gottlieb Show” on Fox Sports radio.
†[Freeman] found out over the weekend how close Atlanta had come to their latest offer, Casey called Close and said, “You didn’t tell me about this offer? You’re fired,” he said.
In March, Freeman said he had received only one formal offer from the Braves, which was on the 2021 trade deadline, before signing a $162 million six-year contract with the Dodgers. Gottlieb alleged that Close intentionally hid an additional Braves offer from Freeman and intentionally got him to sign with the Dodgers, despite preferring to return to Atlanta. Freeman signed with Los Angeles after the Braves moved on and traded for athletics first baseman Matt Olson, whom they then signed to an eight-year, $168 million contract extension.
Curiously, Freeman’s resignation from Close came on the heels of a weekend run in Atlanta — Freeman’s first trip back since he left the team — after which Freeman had some interesting words for reporters.
“Last weekend in Atlanta was a very emotional time for me and my family,” Freeman said Tuesday. “I am working on some issues with my old agents at Excel. My representation remains a fluid situation and I will update if necessary.”
It remains unclear at this point what is right, but one can be assured that the situation will be closely monitored.